Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Cerrone Reveals Why He Kept Retirement Secret From Coaches & Family

Donald Cerrone has revealed why he didn’t alert those close to him of his impending retirement prior to UFC 276 this past weekend.

After a pair of unsuccessful bookings opposite Joe Lauzon, Octagon veteran Cerrone finally returned to action on Saturday. As it turns out, the 39-year-old’s walk inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena was to be his last.

Having been submitted by fellow UFC mainstay Jim Miller, a result that marked Cerrone’s sixth loss in his past seven fights, “Cowboy” placed his gloves inside his iconic hat and left it in the center of the cage.

In an Octagon interview with Joe Rogan, Cerrone admitted that he no longer loved the sport, and it felt that he’d reached the right time to depart. As well as fans in attendance, the announcement likely came as a shock to the welterweight’s family and team, who were also unaware of Cerrone’s retirement plans.

During his appearance at the UFC 276 post-fight press conference, “Cowboy” explained why he chose not to share the news with those closest to him beforehand.

“Not (so that they wouldn’t) talk me out (of retiring), but I just didn’t want their training or their attitude towards this fight to be any different,” said Cerrone. “I didn’t want them to be like, ‘This is the last one!’ You know what I mean? I just wanted them to think this is just what we do. Yeah, I don’t know why (I didn’t tell anyone). I just — it was my own moment.”

Cerrone Knew Retirement Was Coming Pre-McGregor

While it took four more fights and until the summer of 2022 to make it official, Cerrone revealed that he’d been pondering with a desire to hang up his gloves for years.

In January 2020, Cerrone headlined UFC 246 opposite the sport’s biggest superstar, Conor McGregor. Looking back on the later years of his career, “Cowboy” admitted that he knew his time was almost up before entering the Octagon with the “Notorious” Irishman.

“Before I fought McGregor. I knew it was close. Then I did the McGregor fight, then I took another fight, and I was just going through the motions. I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t love it,” Cerrone said. “I knew the time was soon, and I just had to pick the right time. I took a lot of time off, and then called my agent, said, ‘Let’s get a fight,’ and then just knew this was going to be the last one.”

Having gone through one last camp, Cerrone can turn his attention to other ventures, including a budding acting career. But wherever he finds success next, “Cowboy” will always be known as one of MMA’s biggest fan favorites.

What’s your best memory from the career of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone?

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