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SportsMixed Martial Arts

'Cowboy' Cerrone punishes last-minute foe John Makdessi

Lightweight fighter Donald Cerrone gestures during the weigh-in

Lightweight fighter Donald Cerrone gestures during the weigh-in for UFC 182 in Las Vegas on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Cerrone is to fight Myles Jury in a mixed martial arts bout on Saturday. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Sun, L.E. Baskow) Credit: AP / L.E. Baskow

LAS VEGAS -- Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone approaches fighting in simple and consistent tones: anyone, anytime, any place.

Heck, he even asked to do an open workout for fans Wednesday even though he wasn't scheduled to do so.

Usually, Cerrone's mantra has meant him stepping in to replace an injured fighter on short notice. This time, at UFC 187, it was reversed. Cerrone's original opponent, No. 2 ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov, injured himself during training and pulled out of the fight three weeks ago.

He was replaced by John Makdessi, an unranked fighter with a 12-3 record and winner of four of his previous five fights.

Makdessi accepting this fight on short notice was a win-win for the Montreal-based fighter.

The result of the actual fight, though, was what you might expect. Cerrone picked about Makdessi the entire fight. Cerrone ended it with a leg kick to Makdessi's head and he called timeout with 16 seconds left in the second round with what looked to be a severely injured jaw.

"I had no idea what happened, I thought maybe I poked him in the eye or something," Cerrone said. "I was blown away. I should've wrestled him more but he made that comment about how good strikers always turn into wrestlers when they face another good striker. That was in my head a little bit."

Cerrone (28-6) has won eight straight and belongs in the conversation for the next title shot against champion Rafael dos Anjos, who is recovering from knee surgery after winning the belt from Anthony Pettis in March.

"I'm upset with my performance, but I always am," Cerrone said. "I don't know what's next. My manager probably won't let me take another fight before I get a title shot, so I guess we'll just wait and see."

New York Sports