Sure, the UFC wishes it had a roster full of Conor McGregors and Ronda Rouseys, because those kinds of fighters rake in the pay-per-view dough.
But the sad truth is, a Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey is a rare thing.
More numerous are the fighters just struggling to find a win and get their paycheck.
Most valuable though are the ones who bring an unending supply of violence every time.
Donald Cerrone has been one of those MVPs for a while now, always ready and always willing, and that willingness has earned him a ton of fans.
It’s come with a downside, of course. “Cowboy” didn’t have to give relative unknown Darren Till the time of day, but he did, agreeing to face the Brit slugger in the main event of UFC Fight Night 118. Cerrone got clobbered.
And Cerrone got clobbered against Jorge Masvidal. And Rafael dos Anjos – twice. And Anthony Pettis.
But Cerrone has made it clear he cares more about throwing down than he does about his win/loss record
This Sunday, Cerrone will headline another UFC – UFC Fight Night 126 – and he’ll be doing it opposite another scrapper, Yancy Medeiros. Like Cerrone, Medeiros favors banging it out above all else, so the expectation is that these two are going to throw leather until one of them is unconscious.
That’s fine. In fact, that’s what the UFC wants. The FOX deal demands a certain amount of events per year on the FOX networks, and the UFC certainly can’t spare McGregor or anyone other pay-per-view stars for them. Nor can the UFC make those cards all about nigh-worthless unknowns battling it out for a tiny bit of recognition.
Therein lies Cowboy’s value.
He’ll never be a champ, not with his limitations and closing window of opportunity. But he be a superstar of violence and attitude, and that makes him the perfect kind of fighter for the organization.
Here’s a sample of the MVP in action.