During the UFC San Antonio broadcast, the promotion revealed that retired Lightweight and Welterweight contender Donald Cerrone would be inducted into the Hall of Fame this July. Cerrone joins the hall as part of the 2023 class alongside men like Anderson Silva and Jens Pulver, and he’ll be inducted in the “Modern Wing.”
“Cowboy Cerrone is one of the best lightweights in UFC history,” UFC President Dana White said in a press release. “Cowboy consistently fought the best of the best for over a decade inside the Octagon and set a ton of records in the process. He was also a complete savage who would fight anyone at any time. He is a true legend, and it will be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame as part of International Fight Week.”
"Cowboy" Cerrone's family surprises him after his induction to the UFC Hall of Fame #UFCSanAntonio pic.twitter.com/9xDQvhmwyV— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 25, 2023
Unlike the two other men mentioned, Cerrone never achieved UFC gold, though he did challenge Rafael dos Anjos for the belt in 2015. Despite never becoming champion, Cerrone made his name by fighting and finishing dozens of elite fighters in UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) competition. “Cowboy” set several UFC records, at one point holding the records for both total UFC wins and total UFC finishes. Currently, he still holds the most knockouts via kick, as well as the most knockdowns in UFC history.
Unfortunately, Cerrone’s UFC career came to a punishing end in 2022. His final appearance came against fellow expert veteran Jim Miller, a fight that “Cowboy” lost via second-round submission. That loss marked six defeats in his final seven trips to the Octagon, but Cerrone’s gameness and willingness to fight all comers last till the very end of his professional career.