In the midst of a three-fight losing streak, longtime fan favorite contender Donald Cerrone will set foot back into the cage against a rising contender on a completely different sort of career trajectory.
Word came from MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani today that “Cowboy” will make his comeback against surging welterweight Yancy Medeiros in the main event of UFC Austin on February 18, 2018.
Dropping three straight including two by finish throughout a tumultuous 2017, Cerrone was last seen getting stopped in the first round of his shocking UFC Gdansk main event against rising star Darren Till. He dropped his previous two bouts of the year to Robbie Lawler in a close decision and Jorge Masvidal in a brutal second-round knockout. “Cowboy” had previously won his first four fights at 170 after he moved up to welterweight following a failed lightweight title bid in late 2015.
Medeiros has found similar initial success at 170 pounds as well, winning three straight fights since his own move up from lightweight. He most recently beat Alex Oliveira in a rousing “fight of the Night” affair at UFC 218 earlier this month. The Hawaiian, who’s a good friend and training partner of UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway, will face his biggest step up in competition in the experienced veteran.
But many feel Cerrone’s chin has cracked as he’s taken a ton of damage thanks to his take-no-prisoners, fight anyone at anytime style. Against a brutal pressuring striker like Medeiros, that could be a big problem.
It could also be a ticket towards rebuilding from a down 2017.