Donald Cerrone Gets Next Crack Against Rafael Dos Anjos
UFC’s busiest fighter finally gets the title shot that’s long been overdue.
A Busy Cowboy
Fresh off his second round stoppage of Canadian John Makdessi at UFC 187, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has already been booked for his next fight: a title shot against UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. UFC President Dana White made the announcement to ESPN during Saturday’s post fight press conference. According to White, Cerrone looked “insanely good” and declared that Cowboy is “next in line for a title shot”.
The 32-year old Cerrone has been the UFC’s busiest fighter since 2011, having fought a total of 18 times in a span of three and a half years and going 15-3 over that period. He’s won nine fights in a row, including 5 stoppages. Among his victims were former champion Benson Henderson, Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza and most recently Myles Jury. Cerrone has not lost a bout since UFC Fight Night 27 last August 28, 2013. Incidentally, his last loss came at the hands of Do Anjos, whom he is scheduled to fight next.
Dos Anjos Shocker
Rafael Dos Anjos won the UFC lightweight title from Anthony “Showtime” Pettis at UFC 185. Dos Anjos shocked the world when he dominated the seemingly unbeatable Pettis throughout the five round affair, punishing him with powerful strikes to the head and body. After the bout, it was learned that Dos Anjos suffered an MCL tear in the weeks leading to UFC 185 and fought with the injury. Fortunately, the injury didn’t require surgery and Dos Anjos is expected to be back in three months. However, Dos Anjos had nose surgery last month to fix an injury that hindered his breathing before the Pettis’ fight.
Pettis was slated to face the winner of the UFC 187 bout between Cerrone and top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. But Nurmagomedov suffered an injury and was ruled out for the next couple of months. Makdessi replaced Numramoedov, and took the Cerrone fight on short notice. The result was a disaster for the Canadian who broke his jaw after getting hit by a perfectly executed head kick from Cowboy Cerrone.
Who Takes This?
It would have been better if we saw Cerrone slug it out with Nurmagomedov at UFC 187 with the winner facing Dos Anjos next but at the same time, Cerrone’s eight fight winning streak is more than impressive enough to merit him a title shot. Coincidentally, Dos Anjos is the last man to beat Cerrone in the Octagon and that should give the Dos Anjos-Cerrone rematch a storyline.
No date and venue has been penciled yet for this bout so the odds aren’t out yet. But Cerrone was a slight -165 favorite over the +145 underdog Dos Anjos during their first bout and yet the latter pulled out the upset. Similarly, Dos Anjos was a 4-1 underdog against Pettis when he won the lightweight title so whatever the odds will be, Dos Anjos will not care much about.
Both fighters are at the top of their games right now and if their first fight was any indication this will be war. RDA won that bout via unanimous decision with the score of 29-28 across all scorecards. Dos Anjos had a strong start but Cerrone finished like a house on fire. Unfortunately for Cowboy, RDA had established a sizeable lead early which gave him the judges’ nod. You bet Cowboy’s gonna come out with guns blazing in the rematch. On the other hand, Dos Anjos is more than eager to prove that he is the best 155 pound mixed martial artist out there today.
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