UFC 150: 5 Fights for Donald Cerrone to Take Next
With the cowboy hat and fitted jeans, the only thing Donald Cerrone is missing in life is a gold plate around his waist.
At UFC 150, the former WEC title contender came one step closer to making that happen with a vicious first-round knockout over Melvin Guillard.
Things started off rocky for Cerrone merely seconds after the opening bell when he was dropped by a counter left hand.
Guillard rushed his former Jackson's MMA teammate with a flurry of punches and elbows, but Cerrone was able to weather the storm and clear enough cobwebs to start opening up with some offense of his own.
"The body shots are really what got me. I mean, the jaw, that's the first time I've been dropped like that, but the body shot is what hurt the worst. [It took] the whole time [for me to regroup]," Cerrone told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com after the fight.
Once Cerrone regained his composure, he landed a head kick and a straight right hand that sent Guillard crashing to the canvas 76 seconds into the first round.
Was the win over Guillard enough to warrant a title shot?
With Benson Henderson as the current UFC champion, the title picture is more clouded for Cerrone than others in the division. Henderson has already defeated Cerrone twice in the WEC. It would take an impressive run from "Cowboy" to convince the masses he's ready for a third shot.
Here are five fights for Cerrone to take next.
Gray Maynard - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
After an awkwardly, dull fight with Clay Guida, Gray Maynard is looking for a little bit of excitement in his MMA life.
He should look no further than Cerrone, a proven striker with one-punch knockout power.
Maynard's nearly spotless record isn't one to be trifled with, but in Cerrone, he'll find an opponent who won't be bullied.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez recently announced his return to the lightweight division, which adds more fuel to an already stacked weight class.
At 155-pounds, Sanchez is a legit contender. He proved it with a run back in 2009 that earned him a UFC title shot against BJ Penn.
Things didn't go so well against Penn, and Sanchez decided to move back up to the welterweight division.
A bout against Cerrone wouldn't only be a compelling matchup for fans, but it would also throw Sanchez right back into the contender's pool at lightweight.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Sean Sherk's UFC return has been delayed over and over again.
In a post on Twitter in March, Sherk announced he would be making his UFC return before the year was out.
He also made it very clear that he wanted "no chumps" in his return bout.
It could be perfect timing to pair Sherk with Cerrone.
Michael Cohen/Getty Images
What better way to prove you're ready for a title shot than beating the former champion?
This would all depend on Frankie's Edgar's willingness to stick around in the 155-pound division.
After losing back-to-back title bouts to Benson Henderson, there is talk of Edgar potentially moving down to featherweight, but given the close nature of his most recent bout, he could opt to stick around a little longer.
A win over Edgar would go a long way in helping Cerrone erase his WEC past with Henderson.
Anthony Pettis - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Like Cerrone, Anthony Pettis' transition from the WEC to the UFC has gone over extremely well.
Coming off back-to-back wins over Joe Lauzon and Jeremy Stephens, Pettis has the kind of unpredictable, exciting striking style that would go over well in a fight with Cerrone.
There is already some minor beef forming between the two, especially after comments made by Cerrone at the UFC 150 conference call.
"I've been trying to fight Anthony for a while now, and every time I suggest it, his manager comes back and says, 'well, we're not ready,'" Cerrone said. '"Maybe we'll fight somebody else right now.' There's always an excuse."