Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone Fighter Tour Highlights: Cowboy is Ready to Give an “Ass-Whooping” at #UFCSingapore

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Cowboy’s Visit is One of MMA Philippines’ Favorite Fighter Tours Thus Far!

It’s been almost a week since Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone visited the Philippines for UFC and Cignal’s fighter tour. We took our sweet time post-processing the event photos, and finally here is MMA Philippines’ breakdown of the nation’s experience with the busiest, winningest fighter in the UFC!

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Cerrone didn’t have time to put up his legs after arriving on Friday as he went straight to the press conference held at Marco Polo Ortigas in the evening. Members of the press had first dibs in asking Cowboy questions, which the WEC and UFC veteran was more than game to answer. Here are some of the topics touched during the press scrum:

1) Cerrone views his UFC career as a means to finance his vicious appetite for extreme sports, so don’t expect him to give up skydiving during training camp!
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With a Vengeance: Eustaquio Wins Interim Crown; Pacio and Kelly Impress

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Team Lakay Proves They’re Still on Top of Their Game

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Last year was devastating for Filipino MMA fans as Team Lakay’s leader Eduard ‘Landslide’ Folayang lost his ONE lightweight strap to heavy-handed Martin Nguyen. Coming out of ONE: Global Superheroes, however, Team Lakay showed us that Folayang’s reign was just the tip of the iceberg.

Inheriting the top spot as the face of Team Lakay is Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio, who opened 2018 with a pleasant gift for the Filipino fight nation – the ONE interim flyweight championship.

January 26 was indeed a sweet night for Eustaquio. He snagged the gold after taking the unanimous decision victory over Kairat Akhmetov – a man who, in many people’s opinion, stole one from Eustaquio the last time they met inside the cage in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In that fight, Eustaquio seemingly had Akhmetov beat when the Kazakh was stunned by a series of up kicks. But the fight was inexplicably paused by referee Yuji Shimada, which allowed Akhmetov to recover and escape with a narrow split-decision victory.

During the rematch, Eustaquio made sure to hurt Akhmetov even more by cancelling his date with his long-time rival and current champion, Adriano Moraes.

Eustaquio’s key to victory was his grappling defense. Ironically, ‘Gravity’ needed to avoid getting pulled down by gravity to overcome his opponent. Akhmetov proved once again that he is the superior wrestler as he successfully completed three takedowns. Eustaquio, however, did not allow the Kazakh to inflict damage once the fight shifted to the ground.

After five grueling rounds, Eustquio claimed the right to be called a world champion and be hailed as Team Lakay’s new franchise guy. If we will pay close attention, however, Team Lakay is not defined by franchise guys and breakout stars. They are defined by their culture of winning and excellence.
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Holly Holm: The Superstar That Never Was

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Will Holly Holm Reach the Zenith of MMA Glory Again?

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Before facing Ronda Rousey in the main event of UFC 193, Holly Holm was unknown to most MMA fans back in 2015. Fight junkies saw Holm as just another girl that Rousey would beat up or maybe – and more likely – submit via her signature armbar.

During the weigh-ins, in a packed Etihad Stadium, in Melbourne, Australia, Holm came out first, donning a black zip up hoodie that she removed as she stepped onto the scale. After a few seconds, Joe Rogan enthusiastically yelled, “134 for the challenger!”, confirming that Holm had made the required weight.

Holm’s blank face turned into a subtle smile as she walked off the scale and approached UFC President Dana White to shake his hand. What followed was a loud pop from the Australian crowd when Rogan announced that Rousey is next to step onto the weighing scale. Based on the crowd’s reaction, even a blind person would be able to identify who the star of the event was.

Rousey wasted no time; she unzipped her Reebok hoodie, dropped her track pants, and straight to the scale she went. Rogan announced that she too is at 134 pounds. Rousey – using her intimidation tactics – went trudging down from the scale, past White, and in front of Holm’s face as if she wanted the fight to happen a day earlier.

But Holm is no pushover, she would not let Rousey impose her dominance. The challenger shifted to her southpaw stance. And as White was trying to separate the two women to stop them from hurting each other – before they are allowed to actually hurt each other – Holm’s right fist grazed Rousey on her left jaw.

The oohs were very much audible from the Aussie crowd from watching the sequence of mild tension, as if they were saying, “This Holm chick’s gonna have her ass whooped.”

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Slaying the Legend

When Holly’s left foot connected with the champion’s jaw, everybody lost their minds. For the first time, Rousey looked like a mortal in the Octagon; the place where she turned herself into a goddess in everyone’s eyes. Everyone’s except for Holm’s.

After a first round in which Rousey was outclassed by the challenger, something unexpected was witnessed by the whole world. In the 4:03 mark of the second round, referee Herb Dean was forced to stop the fight, marking the end of Rousey’s reign.
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