Donald Cerrone says he'll retire after two more fights following UFC 274 withdrawal
Donald Cerrone has made his first public comments since his fight-day withdrawal from UFC 274 on Saturday, and it came with some news about his fighting future.
Cerrone (36-16 MMA, 23-13 UFC) contracted food poisoning the night prior to his scheduled lightweight fight with Joe Lauzon (28-15 MMA, 15-12 UFC) at Footprint Center in Phoenix. All options were explored to keep him in the fight, but shortly after the card began, the promotion announced “Cowboy” was unable to compete due to illness.
It was an uncommon occurrence from Cerrone, who has been one of the most historically reliable fighters to ever grace the octagon. Only Andrei Arlovski and Jim Miller have logged more fights under the UFC banner, but he said this was an impossible situation.
“My heart is broken and torn,” Cerrone said Sunday on Instagram. “I can’t believe I had to make that call. If you know me, you know I only pulled out because I had to. Thank you for the UFC and the medical division for helping me as far as we could, try and make that buzzer, but we just couldn’t get it.”
UFC president Dana White said Cerrone got food poisoning “eating tacos” at a restaurant in Phoenix. White said the promotion did its best to keep the fight together, but the situation was “really bad,” and not even an IV would’ve helped him.
It was a hugely disappointing situation for Cerrone, who was emotional during fight week because he would get a chance to fight in front of his son Danger for the first time since he’s been old enough to understand his profession. White said there’s a possibility the UFC will reschedule the matchup with Lauzon, whom Cerrone revealed will be the penultimate fight of his MMA career.
Cerrone made his professional debut in February 2006, and he will turn 40 years old in March. He’s currently in the midst of a six-fight winless skid and said he has just two more fights left in the tank. One of those would’ve been against Lauzon on Saturday, but now it will have to wait.
“I have 48 fights under Zuffa,” Cerrone said. “I am saddened that I couldn’t have my 49th, put on a show for you all. My number is 50, gentlemen. I’ll retire when I get 50. So I got two more fights left in the UFC. So thank you, Dana White. Thank you, Joe Lauzon. Thank you for understanding and not taking that fight with an ill, sick ‘Cowboy.’ I wouldn’t want to fight that guy. You want a strong, healthy motherf*cker. So, we’ll meet again. Like I said, ‘Cowboy’s’ got two more fights under Zuffa. I want 50 fights and then I’m bowing out, and I’m out of here, boys. I’ll be back stronger than ever and ready to take on the world.”
Cerrone currently is tied for the most wins in UFC history. He has the second most finishes (16) and is tied for the most bonuses (18) of any fighter to compete for the UFC.