Combat sports notes: ‘Cowboy’ tries again, to fight on July 2

Edgewood resident Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, denied a fight by food poisoning in May and by a freak injury to his opponent in June, now has a fight scheduled in July.

What could possibly go wrong?

As first reported by ESPN, Cerrone (36-16) is expected to replace Bobby Green as the opponent for fellow veteran Jim Miller (34-16) in a lightweight fight on July 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 246 mixed martial arts bout, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. Cerrone will fight on July 2 — if all goes to plan. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Cerrone on Thursday confirmed the news on his Instagram account with photos of himself and Miller, writing, “And then this happened!!”

A Cerrone-Miller fight would match – actually, rematch – two fighters at or near the top of multiple UFC most-ever lists.

Miller leads with 39 UFC appearances. Cerrone is third with 37. Miller and Cerrone are tied for first in UFC victories, with Andrei Arlovski, at 23.

Cerrone is second in finishes with 16. Miller is third with 15.

On July 16, 2014, Cerrone defeated Miller by second-round TKO (head kick and punches) in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Perhaps that’s why Cerrone was listed on Thursday as a 2-1 betting favorite, despite having lost his last five fights. Miller has won three of his last five.

Miller, 38, also presents as exactly the kind of opponent – a fellow veteran, not a young up-and-comer – that Cerrone, 39, prefers in his drive to reach 50 fights under the Zuffa banner (WEC-UFC) before he retires. Cerrone claims he’s had 48 fights in those circuits, though his fight-by-fight listings on and show only 47.

BOXING: Albuquerque junior flyweight Abraham Perez (4-0, two KOs) is scheduled to headline an Aug. 13 Legacy Promotions card at the Manuel Lujan Jr. Exhibit Complex at Expo New Mexico.

Perez, a Golden Gloves, USA Boxing and Olympic Trials champion as an amateur, is matched against Isaac Anguiano (3-0, one KO) of Pomona, Calif.

As first reported by, the card also features a bout between Bosque Farms’ Katherine Lindenmuth (1-0) and Dallas’ Indeya Smith (3-5-2, one KO) and a heavyweight bout between Los Lunas’ Manuel Eastman (3-6-1, one KO) and Albuquerque-based Leonid Grachev (4-0, three KOs).

Perez is coming off a victory by unanimous decision over Mexico’s Alejandro Moreno (24-50-3, 11 KOs) on an Isidro Castillo-promoted card at Ruidoso Downs last Saturday.

BKFC: The nation’s leading bare-knuckle fighting circuit has scheduled an event for Aug. 27 at the Rio Rancho Events Center, with a women’s flyweight title fight between South Carolinian Taylor Starling (3-0) and Californian Christine Ferea (5-1) in the main event.

Several Albuquerque-area fighters are expected to be on the card.

An earlier BKFC card, scheduled for the Events Center last December, fell through after contract talks with Albuquerque MMA veteran Diego Sanchez fell through.

CATCHING UP: MMA strawweight Lydia Warren, who trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink, defeated Sydney Smith by unanimous decision on an IKON FC card on June 3 in Richmond, Virginia.

On the same card, former Albuquerquean and three-time NCAA wrestlng champion Bo Nickal made his pro MMA debut, defeating John Noland by first-round TKO (punches) in a middleweight fight.

Nickal (1-1) wrestled for Rio Rancho High School as an eighth-grader before his family moved to Texas. He wrestled collegiately at Penn State, where he won national titles from 2017-19.

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