ByAmy Kaplan, writer at Creators.co
Lead Staff Writer // Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @PhotoAmy33
Amy Kaplan

Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone has always been a bit of a daredevil, using his time outside of the cage to partake in extreme sports and sometimes dangerous hobbies. He "dabbles" in wake-boarding, bull riding and skydiving, just to name a few. Inside the cage he's a beast, with high volumes of fights (including twice in a matter of 16 days). So it's no shock that he might have had a brush with death — but Cowboy's had multiple near death experiences.

Here we break down just four of those incidents, and how he escaped the clutches of the grim reaper.


That Time He Flipped His Truck

Less than a year ago, Cerrone was heading to practice and flipped his truck in the outskirts of New Mexico.

And the wreckage looked pretty bad.

That alone would scare anyone into at least a few hours of relaxation, but #Cowboy isn't just any regular person and he was seen training in the gym just hours later.

That Time He Almost Drowned Suba Diving

In a recent interview with Fox Sports, Cerrone recounted the time he almost died while diving for hidden treasure (so now he's a pirate too).

"Someone hid $500 worth of silver in this lake, called Perch Lake. So we had to find these clues and decipher all these things … And we got it, we were going to get it. And right when I got in – BOOM – all this sh*t happened," he said.

The "sh*t" he's referring to is a avalanche of issues that resulted in him nearly drowning. He says that first his dry suit flooded, then his air tank sprung a leak, from there he had to crawl his way out of the lake.

“My dry suit flooded,” he said. “I wasn’t very deep, maybe 50-60 feet. Then my first stage blew. PFFFFTTTT. So I had like a massive air leak and I’m sunk at the bottom of a lake. And my regulator’s wide open flowing – just screaming air out of it. My girl tried to like … I should have took her air, but I just pushed her away from me and just torpedoed, sort of like crawling out of the lake.”

He says that he barely made it out alive. According to Cerrone his tank had only I 200 PSI when he emerged from the water. Normal PSI is between 2,900 and 4,400.

That Time He Rolled His ATV

Back in 2012, just two weeks before he was scheduled to fight Jeremy Stephens, Cerrone was out on his ATV (because of course) and took a dive off a nearly 60-foot jump.

“I was racing some motocross and I wrecked real bad and just kind of spilled my guts out,” Cerrone said to Sherdog. “They had to take a bunch of my intestines and part of my stomach. What happened this time is, my stomach basically rolled around the intestine. Man, talk about pain. It was like someone was stabbing me. Oh, it was so brutal. I had to go to the ER, and basically they had to empty all of my intestines out and then rush water down my stomach and try to get it to unspin, kind of like a garden hose. If you have a kink in the hose, you run water and the pressure will cause it to unravel. It worked, so thank God.”

Um... ouch.

You'd have thought he'd be out for a while from that, but he ended up beating Stephens via a dominant unanimous decision because... it's Cowboy.

That Time He Fell Off a Mountain

One sunny day in 2013 Cerrone took what was supposed to be a relaxed climb with his coaches and training partners, which was labeled for beginners only 5.6 or 5.7 according to Cowboy.

He began to set up the gear and show the others how everything works when tragedy nearly struck.

He fell backwards off the mountain nearly 40 feet to the ground. His gear was supposed to catch him if he fell, but the anchors were faulty and he landed on the ground.

"I fractured my hip and my foot, but, I mean, it could've been much worse."


Cerrone is set to face Kelvin Gastelum at #UFC205 on November 12 (if he makes it there in one piece of course). He's currently on a three fight win streak with his most recent win coming by way of a second round TKO of Rick Story at #UFC202.