Donald Cerrone committed his future to the UFC yesterday, ensuring one of the leading fan favorites in the sport remains tied to the Octagon.
Although he had one fight left on his contract, ‘Cowboy’ decided not to enter free agency after his next fight, opting instead to sign a brand new eight-fight contract with the UFC.
Following the surprising news Rory MacDonald had scaled the Octagon and signed with Bellator MMA many wondered who’d be next to test free agency. But new owners WME-IMG obviously moved to tie down one of the lightweight/welterweight division’s biggest stars.
Cerrone has been one of the most consistent fighters in the UFC, winning 11 of his last 12 with his last three performances coming at 170lb, which have arguably been some of his best ever. Finishes over Alex Oliveria, Patrick Cote and most recently Rick Story at UFC 202 just last weekend have left many wondering if Cerrone should stick around at welterweight and with mouth watering options out there like Nick Diaz, Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler it’s easy to see why.
Following his win in Las Vegas last Saturday night, Cerrone was pretty bullish about staying in the UFC family. “I’m a UFC guy, man – I’m not going anywhere,” said Cerrone. “They seem very happy with me, so I see big things with this company.
“I feel like I’m a veteran of this sport, man. I love it. I love fighting for the UFC, and this is my drug. I need it as much as I can – I feel like a crackhead up here already looking for another fight.”
Cerrone has stacked up an impressive 18 post fight bonuses under the Zuffa era taking into account his fights in the WEC and UFC. He’s also been one of the most regularly featured fighters from the UFC roster racking up at least one fight per quarter over the past 3-4 years. With 3 under his belt for 2016 it looks like he’ll be getting his fourth fairly shortly.
Following the report Cerrone took to twitter to put a stamp on things saying, “Guess I’ll be fighting again soon.”