UFC Hall of Fame adds Donald Cerrone to star-studded Class of 2023

Donald Cerrone, whose take-no-prisoners style made him one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history, was chosen Saturday as the latest member of the UFC’s Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

Cerrone’s name litters the UFC record book. He leads in post-fight bonuses with 18, including six Fight of the Night awards. He had five Fight of the Night bouts while he was competing in the World Extreme Cagefighting organization, as well.

Cerrone’s 23 UFC wins are tied for second all-time with Andrei Arlovski, one behind Jim Miller. His 38 fights is third, behind Miller (41) and Arlovski (39). He scored 16 finishes in the UFC, tied for second with Miller behind only Charles Oliveira (19).

He’s also sixth-time all-time with 10 knockouts. He retired following a loss to Miller at UFC 276 on July 2, 2022, with a 36-17 overall record.

“Cowboy Cerrone is one of the best lightweights in UFC history,” UFC president Dana White said. “Cowboy consistently fought the best of the best for over a decade inside the Octagon and set a ton of records in the process. He was also a complete savage who would fight anyone at any time. He is a true legend, and it will be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame as part of International Fight Week.”

He was known for his fearlessness and his willingness to fight anyone. Among the elite opponents he fought in his career are current welterweight champion Leon Edwards, as well as former champions Benson Henderson (three times), Charles Oliveira, Anthony Pettis (twice), Rafael dos Anjos, Eddie Alvarez, Robbie Lawler, Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor.

Among the elite non-champions he faced were Miller (twice), Al Iaquinta, Darren Till, Jorge Masvidal, Patrick Cote, Edson Barboza and James Krause.

He was never able to win a title in either the UFC or the WEC but it didn’t bother his legion of fans, who knew that every time out he’d deliver an epic performance.

His greatest streak was an eight-fight winning streak from 2013 through 2015. Those eight wins, which included victories over Barboza, Miller, Alvarez and Henderson, earned him a title shot against dos Anjos on Dec. 19, 2015. Dos Anjos stopped him at 1:06 of the first. He came back after that defeat to win four more in succession, giving him a 12 of 13 run.

He struggled at the end, going 0-6 with a no-contest, but even in that stretch, he had a Fight of the Night during a loss to Ferguson. Cerrone will join José Aldo, Jens Pulver and Anderson Silva in being inducted in July.

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