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Donald Cerrone vs Joe Lauzon: Appreciating the amazing resumes of a couple of UFC performance bonus gods

donald cerrone vs joe lauzon

January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Donald Cerrone is introduced before fighting Conor McGregor during UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last week's announcement of a lightweight showdown between UFC old-timers Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon on April 30 UFC means fans will see a fight more than a decade in the making.

While there's no question the duo are in the tail ends of their UFC careers, they are long established as two of the most exciting fighters in promotion's history. Cerrone (36-16) entered 2022 having earned an unbelievable 18 post-fight bonuses, which is tied with Charles Oliveira for most in UFC history. Not to be outdone, Lauzon (28-15) has 15, to tie him with Nate Diaz for third all-time.

Considering their entertaining resumes inside the Octagon, let's take a look at some of this legendary duo's most memorable moments in the UFC.

Donald Cerrone vs Joe Lauzon: The best moments from two performance bonus legends

Joe Lauzon def. Jens Pulver by first-round TKO, UFC 63

donald cerrone vs joe lauzon

Oct 18, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red) reacts after defeating Jonathan Pearce (not seen) by TKO in a lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The idea Lauzon was simply being brought in as an "opponent" for former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver's much-hyped return was a badly kept secret. And yet the fight turned into a showcase for the debuting Lauzon, who mauled Pulver until the referee in Anaheim waved things off at the 48-second mark. Lauzon earned "Fight of the Night" for his first bonus.

Donald Cerrone def. Melvin Guillard by first-round KO, UFC 150

It is just about the wildest minute and 16 seconds of MMA action you can ever hope to see. Fighting in front of friends and family in his home state of Colorado, "Cowboy" was nearly finished at the outset when he walked into a huge Melvin Guillard counter left hand. Cerrone regained his bearings though, and finished the fight with a giant head kick. Sending the Denver crowd into a frenzy. Cerrone earned both "Fight of the Night" and "Knockout of the Night" bonuses with the win.

Jim Miller def. Joe Lauzon by unanimous decision, UFC 155

Yes, a loss can be considered a career highlight. Lauzon and Cerrone each have seven "Fight of the Night" bonuses, and each competitor has losses among those bonus-winning efforts. In this case, Lauzon and Jim Miller put on an epic encounter for 15 furious minutes. As the bout wound toward its conclusion, a horrifically bloody "J-Lau" -- knowing he was down on the scorecards -- searched in vain for submission openings all the way to the final horn in a career-defining effort for what many considered 2012's "Fight of the Year."

Donald Cerrone def. Alexander Hernandez by second-round TKO, UFC on ESPN+ 1

Alexander Hernandez, in his biggest career spotlight, talked heaps of trash about Cerrone. Implying he was old and washed up. He'd live to regret those words. After weathering an early Hernandez storm, Cerrone turned the tide and the veteran taught the newbie a lesson from there. Cerrone picked Hernandez apart until the fight was waved off, and earned both "Fight of the Night" and "Performance of the Night."

--Field Level Media