Donald Cerrone had another busy year in 2014. Just like the previous year, he appeared inside of the world-famous octagon four times. The only difference was that this time he had his hand raised in all four. His first three victories came via the finish over the following men: Adriano Martins (headkick KO), Edson Barboza (rear-naked choke), Jim Miller (head kick KO + punches), with his final victory of the year, which in my opinion was the most impressive of the four, came over Eddie Alvarez (UD), 2012’s King of Violence.
When we look at what’s next for our 2014 King of Violence winner, we look no further than the here and now. Cerrone has already competed in 2015. He became the first man to defeat the now previously undefeated Myles Jury, a man many had competing for the lightweight strap before the end of 2015 – not so fast. And a week from tonight, he’ll take on Benson Henderson in Boston. This means Cerrone will fight in the first two events for the UFC in 2015 – a 15-day turn around.
In Cerrone, you have a man who competes in extreme sports on the days leading into his fight while his opponents sit in their hotels daydreaming about different ways to beat him. He’s a fighter who holds 15 bonuses (between his time in the UFC & WEC) and actually backs up his fight anywhere, anytime mantra. The man is without a doubt the toughest fighter at 155 lbs. today. Sure, you can argue the recent losses to Rafael dos Anjos and Anthony Pettis make him number a cool number three. First, we’re not talking about the “top ranked” guy here, we are talking about the toughest. Cerrone has fought 8 times (it will be nine next week) since the Pettis fight. Pettis, the champ, has fought twice.
Again, despite the two head kick KO’s and the RNC finish, Cerrone’s most impressive moment for me during 2014 was watching him survive the early onslaught from one of the best fighters in the world in Eddie Alvarez and, for all intents and purposes, taking him out; let’s face it – he showed Eddie mercy in the 3rd round. Our very own Dwayne Wolff described it the best:
It was unfortunate for Eddie Alvarez that he made his debut against Cerrone. If he had been fighting someone else he probably would have finished the fight in the first round with his vicious uppercuts. Somebody apparently forgot to tell him that you are not going to stop Cerrone by hitting him in the head. Sure you can rock him like Melvin Guillard did in their fight but that just result in Guillard getting KO’d himself. The only person to stop Cerrone via strikes was the champ Anthony Pettis and he did it by attacking the body.
We may never end up seeing a fighter like Donald Cerrone in this sport, and certainly not in the UFC with all of the ongoing and inevitable future changes to the game, ever again. He’s a throwback to those old Spaghetti Western films; a man equipped with a never say die attitude that continues to get stronger and stronger as the fight grows longer, his career gets older, and the situation gets deeper.
originally published on HOV-MMA