With an unprecedented eight-fight win streak in the stacked UFC 155-pound division, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone really has no other place to go next than to a title shot against champion Rafael dos Anjos.
That news was all but confirmed when Dana White recently said ‘Cowboy’ was next in line for the shot. However, with dos Anjos on the sidelines recovering from a torn MCL until roughly December, that meant Cerrone would have to do something he’s not accustomed to and spend half a year on the sidelines.
Fresh off his UFC 187 finish of John Makdessi, Ariel Helwani revealed on UFC Tonight that Cerrone was informed that he’ll have to take a brief hiatus and wait for the champion to return:
“According to UFC sources, they have informed Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone that his next fight will be for the lightweight title. Now, a few weeks ago, I told you that the lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos is expected to return in December; remembered he’s dealing with a knee injury and that’s when they think he’s 100 percent. So they told ‘Cowboy’ you have to chill out for a second, you’re going to get that title shot that you’ve been working so hard for, but unfortunately for you, you’re going to be out for around six months. Remember he just fought late in May at UFC 187.”
According to Helwani, ‘Cowboy’ initially ought in to the UFC’s plans, but the idea soon began to sour with him, so he decided to call up the UFC and ask for a fight in the time between now and his title shot. Once again, he was met with the plan that he’ll just have to wait it out until dos Anjos returns:
“He was cool with that initially, but I’m told Donald started to get the itch last week. And in fact, he called up the UFC and asked them to fight before the title fight. He said, ‘You know what, screw the title fight, I want to remain active as I’ve always been and I want to take a fight sooner rather than later. They told him once again, ‘chill out ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, you’re gonna get that title fight, we’re not booking you against anyone else, you’re gonna fight in December. Hopefully Rafael dos Anjos will be ready by then and you’ll finally get a crack at the title.’” Helwani said.
So it looks like Cerrone will have to do something he’s not accustomed to and take a break, but there could be a great prize waiting for him at the end of that road. He’s already lost to dos Anjos back at UFC Fight Night 27 in August 2013, yet it’s easy to see that both fighters have evolved quite a bit since then.
Are you picking ‘Cowboy’ to win the belt when he returns to the Octagon from what will be a record-setting layoff for him?
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