‘Cowboy’ Cerrone: Injury is just another shot of whiskey

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who fights K.J. Noons on Saturday at UFC 160 in Las Vegas, live on PPV, fights somewhere in the 30/30-60/60 range. However, in the past two years, he has earned $410,000 in ‘of the Night’ performance bonuses. Add in discretionary bonuses, sponsorships, etc, and Donald Cerrone affords what he calls “an active lifestyle.”

On his sprawling ranch outside Albuquerque, Cerrone has built his own little playground, complete with a garage full of motorcycles and ATVs, a barn full of horses, and a front yard full of livestock.

He also has a full-time job as a professional fighter, which Cerrone approaches with a zealotry driven by financial ambition.

He’s done it as ferociously and as often as his body will allow, since that’s the surest path to financial security as an MMA fighter, he said.

“My thing is, for instance on Saturday, all I’ve got to do is go out there and throw down, and if I do an extra good job, they might give me a $100,000 bonus,” Cerrone said. “Usually they send you a bonus in the mail – a discretionary bonus – on top of everything else, too.”

Those paydays do come at a price. Cerrone’s fan-favorite style takes a toll on his body. When your financial well-being is tied to your willingness to make sure the night ends with blood on the mat, you can’t afford to think too far ahead.

“Never have I thought, I’m going to be sore tomorrow,” Cerrone said. “Being injured, that just means another shot of whiskey to me.”

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