Donald Cerrone reveals he was ready to retire before fighting Conor McGregor: ‘I was just doing it for all the wrong reasons’

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone drives away into the sunset, and he couldn’t be happier about it.

On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Cerrone competed for the last time in his illustrious MMA career, losing by second-round submission to Jim Miller in the UFC 276 prelims. After the fight, Cerrone removed his gloves and hat. cowboy hat and left. them in the ring, signaling his retirement from the sport. In his post-fight interview, he said “I don’t love her anymore” and that he was going to continue his burgeoning acting career.

Speaking in his post-fight press scrum, Cerrone offered more details on his retirement, telling reporters he knew he was heading to UFC 276 that it was his last rodeo.

“This sport is crazy. It’s the highest highs and the lowest lows, and I feel, probably the best I’ve felt in my career at my lowest right now if that makes sense,” Cerrone said. “It was important to me to go out with Joe [Rogan] and Bruce [Buffer] In the cage. Just an iconic thing here in Vegas. I knew in January when we started training for the first round, it would be my last round, no matter what I told you. I remember telling the media team you shouldn’t ask me to retire, and I said, ‘I’ll do 50’, but win or lose tonight, that was it, I was leaving.

“I don’t love him like I used to. Last night I couldn’t sleep. I stayed up until six in the morning lying there, and I’m not going to miss those feelings, I’ll tell you. But it was good to go. I surprised my team. They had no idea it was going to happen. My wife didn’t know. Nobody knew. It was a good secret I had. Talk about emotional, yeah, but I feel good. It’s like the biggest sigh of relief I’ve ever had in my life. ‘Oh. Ah. Had finished.’ Now let’s move on to the next chapter. And I will come back. I’ll come hang out, watch fights, talk to the younger generation, tell them everything they should have, could have, would have done. And maybe I’ll be itchy in two years, who knows? But anytime soon, hell no.

Cerrone had apparently been contemplating retirement for some time. Cowboy said he first knew he was ready to hang up his gloves in 2020, when he fought Conor McGregor at UFC 246, but he tried, unsuccessfully, to rekindle his passion for the game. sport several times since then.

“Before I fought McGregor, I knew that,” Cerrone said. “Then after the McGregor fight, I took another fight and just did the moves. I didn’t like it, I didn’t like it. I knew the time was near, I just had to pick the right time. So I took a lot of time off, and then I called my agent and told him we were going to fight, and I just knew it was going to be the last…

“My wife played football in college, and a lot of the things that kept me going in the last fights of my life were, she was like, ‘I wish I could go back and just play a game of more,'” Cerrone said. “’You have the chance to make one more fight. Go experience it and love it. And I was trying to love it, trying to find it and trying to experience it. I was just doing it for all the wrong reasons. I did it for everyone and on myself. But retiring tonight was for me, and I feel good. I’m gonna go home tonight and break myself a nice cold Budweiser and fuckin’ binge it and be like, ‘Ahh. Good career, Cowboy.

Great career, indeed. Cerrone is leaving MMA with a Hall of Fame-worthy career. Cowboy retires tied for second all-time for multiple UFC records, including fights at 38 (tied with Andrei Arlovski), wins at 23 (also tied with Arlovski) and finishes at 16 (at equality with Miller). He also holds the records for most knockdowns in UFC history at age 20 and is tied with Charles Oliveira for most post-fight bonuses at age 18. Given his prolific career, you’d think it would be difficult for Cerrone to pinpoint his most memorable moment, but he said that, even with the loss, his retirement is easily his favorite.

“It’s here tonight,” Cerrone said. “Everyone got very emotional. Like I said, I had my two boys in there, Bruce and Joe fired me, and I’ll hang my hat on that all day. A hell of a career. And why not? The guy tied for the most wins gets the wins and continues. Shit yeah! Good job, Jim. F****** run with that, baby. I’m going to retire and everything is fine. So if I had one moment to look back on, this is it. I had been dreaming of this moment for a long time, to finally feel good in my heart saying it was time to leave, and that was it.

And as for what’s next, outside of his budding film career, Cerrone has been kicking off Cowboys style.

“I’ll drink beer up there in the front row and have a belly so big I can’t even see my dick, that’s what I’m looking for,” Cerrone said. “So take a look at this body because it will be the last time it looks that way, and after that I turn the corner and never look back.”

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