Donald Cerrone Is On Fire – But Can He Ground ‘The Eagle?’

Donald Cerrone picked up his fourth straight finish with an impressive second round knockout of Jim Miller in the main event of last night’s (July 16, 2014) UFC Fight Night 45 from Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

It was a telling bout that saw “Cowboy” put the inconsistency of his past behind him by defeating a top-ranked challenger in his own home state. Talk has already shifted to Cerrone’s next potential opponent, and the all signs clearly point to a showdown with undefeated No. 4-ranked contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“The Eagle” just hopped on Twitter to call out for a bout with “Cowboy,” urging Dana White to make the bout so he can test himself:

It’s a no-brainer to book this fight, as it would likely decide the next UFC lightweight title challenger once champion Anthony Pettis finally returns to defend his belt against Gilbert Melendez in the main event of UFC 182 on January 3, 2015.

“Cowboy’s” takedown defense often takes a backseat to his flashy and diverse Muay Thai striking skills, but he’s one of the toughest lightweights to take down in the Octagon. That’s a skillset that’s going to prove invaluable if and when he does square off with “The Eagle.”

The Combat Sambo champion has lifted and thrown his opponents to the tune of six straight UFC wins at 155 pounds, and many feel that he should already have his shot at the belt. With lightweight stagnant in terms of championship bouts right now, he’ll probably have to take another fight, however.

In this case, the fans win by default, as Nurmagomedov vs. Cerrone has the potential to be a rousing battle. Cerrone has looked unstoppable as of late, but he hasn’t faced off with an elite opponent like Nurmagomedov.

Miller is a great opponent, yet his recent finish wins over mid-level opposition in Yancy Medeiros and Fabricio Camoes masked his own degree of inconsistency. The New Jersey native tends to disappear in big fights, and he’s been suffering a fair amount of finish losses in recent years.

Nurmagomedov has ever been threatened in the Octagon, let alone beaten, so he’s going to give Cerrone one of the toughest bouts of his career. “Cowboy” has already lost to Pettis and former champion Benson Henderson twice. He needs to make a statement if he’s ever going to earn a rematch with either one.

Defeating Nurmagomedov would be the perfect way to do that.

“The Eagle” will be tough to ground. If anything can change the course of a fight, it’s Cerrone’s vaunted low, front, and high kicks. Can he stay upright long enough to land them on Nurmagomedov?

I hope we get to find out soon.

Photo: David Manning for USA TODAY Sports



9 Comments

  1. Profile photo of TheXperience

    TheXperience

    July 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    This is a very good match up… i fully expect Khabib to try and get this to the ground ASAP! Khabib is well rounded but I'm far from impressed by Khabib's striking. It's nowhere near Cerrone's striking. His ground game and throws are sick though but if Cerrone manages to keep it standing or if Khabib can't hold him down (cause getting him down is one thing, keeping him there is another), Cerrone should win and let's not forget that Cerrone's BJJ is super duper slick! Now after thinking about it and typing this down, my money is on Cerrone… Lol I think he'll catch Khabib with something and 1 more thing I noticed is that Khabib starts fading midway rnd 2. He's asking for a 5 round fight but if he can't finish Cerrone in the first 2 rnds. It's gonna be a long ass night for him.

    • Profile photo of movescamp

      movescamp

      July 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      don't think he gets by the eagle. The eagle may appear sloppy combat sambo has different striking strategies than kick boxing. The strikes get you in range for throws and his ground and pound is brutal. Like Weidman it doesn't look fancy but the grappling threat is so great it puts good strikers on alert and they throw less after a couple hard takedowns.

  2. Profile photo of highkick12

    highkick12

    July 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Khabib is pretty boring in my opinion (Dont freak out if its not yours). I'd rather see Cerrone keep up with exciting fights.

  3. Profile photo of movescamp

    movescamp

    July 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I have no problem with that opinion its subjective. If you like cerrone he is a very good kick boxer I understand, he is technical and fun to watch. I just have a feeling the eagle has too much power he has 14 finishes 7 ko 7 subs and 8 decisions. Just beat dos anjos so I don't think cerrone gets by him. Its mma and anything can go down when you get up this high in the rankings. But khabib prob has the 2 ND best throws in mma imo after rousey.

  4. Profile photo of movescamp

    movescamp

    July 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I have no problem with that opinion its subjective. If you like cerrone he is a very good kick boxer I understand, he is technical and fun to watch. I just have a feeling the eagle has too much power he has 14 finishes 7 ko 7 subs and 8 decisions. Just beat dos anjos so I don't think cerrone gets by him. Its mma and anything can go down when you get up this high in the rankings. But khabib prob has the 2 ND best throws in mma imo after rousey.

  5. Profile photo of griffin

    griffin

    July 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    khabib has got the biggest balls in mma. the guy is the clear #1 contender and instead of waiting for his title shot he consistently calls out high level guys even if theyre below him for fights. all risk no reward

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