'Cowboy' Donald Cerrone: Five things you should know

Donald Cerrone with his son Dacson Danger Cerrone
Donald Cerrone with his son, Dacson Danger Cerrone
UFC 246: McGregor v Cerrone
Date: Sunday 19 January (UK time) Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Coverage: Approximately 03:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, then switching to BBC Radio 5 Live from 04:30. Also live text commentary on BBC Sport website.

Conor McGregor will step inside the octagon at UFC 246 for the first time in 15 months when he takes on Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone in Las Vegas on Saturday.

While McGregor is a global star never far from the headlines, Cerrone is relatively unknown outside the mixed martial arts community.

So what do we know about the man from Denver, Colorado, nicknamed 'Cowboy'?

Here are five facts about one of the UFC's most enduring athletes.

He is a big deal in the UFC

At 36 years old, Cerrone is nearing the end of a storied MMA career in which he has amassed a number of impressive UFC records.

He has fought 33 times in the UFC, sharing the record with fellow American Jim Miller.

Of those fights, he has won 23, more than anyone in the history of the promotion.

He has racked up 16 finishes and 20 knockdowns, and taken home 18 post-fight bonuses - all of which are UFC records.

Donald Cerrone submitting Mike Perry by armbar
Cerrone submitted Mike Perry by armbar in 2018 to break the record for most wins in the UFC

Despite his impressive statistics, Cerrone has only ever had one title fight in the UFC - a first-round defeat by lightweight Rafael dos Anjos in 2015.

A win in Las Vegas against McGregor would surely put him in contention for another.

His rivalry with McGregor goes way back

Although the fight between Cerrone and McGregor was only confirmed in November, the seeds of the rivalry were sown in 2015.

Back then, as McGregor was promoting his featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo, Cerrone was preparing for his lightweight title bout against Dos Anjos.

The UFC held a media conference with all fighters involved.

Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone
McGregor and Cerrone first goaded each other back in 2015

McGregor had previously expressed interest at fighting at lightweight, so Cerrone responded saying he wouldn't stand a chance.

"Conor has no right coming up to 155 [lbs] - there's no way. We're too big for him and too strong," said Cerrone.

Naturally, McGregor hit back.

"You're too slow and too stiff, I'd snap you in half," he said.

"I have my eye on that 155 division and I see them all stuck in the mud there."

Cerrone has also called out McGregor numerous times over the years, most notably following his win over Al Iaquinta at UFC Ottawa last May.

He lives up to his 'Cowboy' nickname

In true cowboy style, Cerrone owns his own ranch - the BMF Ranch in Edgewood, New Mexico.

He bought the ranch just over 10 years ago after moving to Albuquerque from his home in Denver.

This is where Cerrone lives, sleeps, trains and enjoys a lot of his downtime.

Donald Cerrone horse-riding
Cerrone shares a lot of his ranch activities on his Instagram page

The ranch is extraordinary.

There is a gym, where fighters come to train from all over the world, complete with dormitories for the athletes to live in.

Donald Cerrone with a selection of fighters at his training camp in New Mexico
Cerrone trains and hosts other fighters at his training camp in New Mexico

He raises his own animals, including goats, turkeys and pigs, which he kills for food.

There's a shooting range, a huge sauna and even a paintball arena.

And the most amazing part of it?

Cerrone built it all himself.

He's a thrill-seeker

Fighting for a living would produce more than enough adrenaline for most people - not for Cerrone.

Before he started fighting, he was a professional bull rider - a rodeo sport not for the faint-hearted.

It's a dangerous activity where riders attempt to stay mounted on a bull while it tries to buck them off.

Nowadays, Cerrone gets his adrenaline fix in a number of different ways...

Donald Cerrone and his son Dacson Danger Cerrone
Donald Cerrone diving under water
Donald Cerrone rock-climbing

He goes hunting for his own food, slaughtering elk and moose, and then prepares them so they're ready to eat at home.

He goes surfing and rock-climbing, and takes his one-year-old son Dacson Danger out snowmobiling.

Then there's the incredibly tense story, which you can find on Youtube, of how he nearly died while cave-diving.

He loves beer like McGregor loves whiskey

Away from the octagon, it's not uncommon to see Cerrone with a beer in his hand.

Just like McGregor has his own brand of whiskey, Cerrone has his own special branded beer.

The beverage can be bought in the USA during the build-up to the McGregor fight, and comes with the message "brewed and canned for Cowboy fans".

A year ago, Cowboy even offered to share a drink with McGregor on Instagram.

Donald Cerrone's Instagram post offering to share a drink with Conor MCgREGOR

It would be a fitting conclusion to the rivalry if they both end up sharing some beverages after the fight in Las Vegas.

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