Singapore (AFP) – Mixed martial arts star Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone failed in his bid to make Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history in Singapore Saturday as he was beaten by his younger opponent after falling ill.
American Cerrone, 35, had hoped to claim the standalone record for most wins in UFC history.
But 26-year-old British fighter Leon “Rocky” Edwards denied him the privilege, winning via unanimous decision.
The loss means Cerrone remains locked in a three-way tie for the win record, along with former champions Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre, at 20 victories each.
Welterweight Cerrone said he had been under the weather all day but came out to fight anyway.
“This old dog isn’t going anywhere. There’s still a lot of fight left in me,” he said after the fight.
“I was literally sick all day today, I could barely get out of bed. I’ve never felt like that.”
The American suffered his 11th career loss, while Edwards notched up his 15th victory.
Edwards said he hoped that victory over Cerrone would propel him to main-event status in a sport that is fast gaining popularity worldwide, including in Asia.
“Thank you to Cowboy for giving me the chance to fight a legend,” Edwards said after the fight.
Ahead of the fight at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Edwards had taunted Cerrone for being old and slow, and the American vowed to teach his younger opponent a lesson.
Edwards came to Saturday’s fight with a five-fight winning streak, and Cerrone’s scalp was his sixth.
Cerrone came in from a victory over Yancy Medeiros in February.
That win followed losing all his three previous matches — a run that had prompted comments he was past his prime.
Cerrone suffered a cut near his right eye early in the first round and blood trickled from the wound throughout the fight.