We all know that Cowboy Cerrone loves to keep himself busy and that he never backs down from any challenge. But we didn’t think he’d take both to the next level.

Big Fight on Short Notice

UFC President Dana White announced on Monday that Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has agreed to take the place of former Strikeforce lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston.  Alvarez backed out of the fight because of “personal matters” and no timetable was given for his return. Cerrone will be facing former UFC lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson in the co-main event of the fight card that will be headlined by the Conor McGregor-Denis Siver battle.

Cowboy is coming off an impressive three round domination of the previously unbeaten Myles Jury at UFC 182 last weekend. Less than 48 hours after the victory, Cerrone is taking on a former champion whom he has previously lost twice to. And that’s not all, because the fight is on January 18 which is barely two weeks away from today.

 A Very Busy Cowboy

As reported by Fox Sports, the fight will be Cerrone’s sixth in a one year period and his 16th overall in his four year stint in the UFC.  He went 4-0 with three stoppages in 2014, beating the likes of Edson Barboza, Jim Miller and Eddie Alvarez in succession. In all, Cerrone has won six straight bouts and has earned four fight performance bonuses since losing via unanimous decision to Rafael Dos Anjos is August 2013. He is considered as the busiest fighter in the UFC and is fast becoming one of its most popular fighters.

Cowboy is currently ranked #4 in the UFC’s lightweight division and is on the verge of getting a title shot. UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has just beaten #1 contender Gilbert Melendez and will be facing the new top ranked contender Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 185 on March 14. #2 ranked contender Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently injured, and it was earlier proposed that Cerrone should wait for Nurmagomedov to heal and fight him for the next number one contender spot. Instead, Cerrone will take the shorter route by taking on the ever dangerous Smooth Henderson.

Taking a Big Risk

Fighting Henderson is such a huge risk for Cerrone not only because Smooth remains one of the best lightweights in the planet but because of their history. Cerrone and Henderson have met twice in their past with Henderson beating the Cowboy both times. The two produced a 2009 Fight of the Year candidate where Henderson escaped with a unanimous decision win during the WEC days. Six months later, the two fought for the WEC lightweight title with Henderson submitting Cerrone via Guillotine in the very first round.

Henderson is coming off a stunning first round knockout loss to Dos Anjos last August. Smooth won and defended the 155 pound title three times before losing to Showtime Pettis in 2013. Henderson is 2-2 in his last four fights and is looking for a big win to get back on track. Stopping Cerrone’s impressive run would certainly achieve that.

It’s about Being a Cowboy

But the storyline here is not about Henderson who was once the top lightweight in the UFC. It’s all about the Cowboy who’s easily becoming one the biggest attractions in the UFC with his action packed style and bad ass attitude. Cerrone was somewhat “disappointed” with his performance at UFC 182, particularly the way the fight finished. But it takes two to tango and as Cerrone put it, his opponent “brought his Nikes” to the Octagon and ran around. We’ve never seen Jury so tentative and lost but he was up against a new age outlaw more than a cowboy. Cerrone threatened not to  leave Las Vegas until the UFC booked his next fight. He got what he asked for and regardless of what happens on January 18th, the cowboy doesn’t give a damn. He just wants to get back inside the octagon and fight again.

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