Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone: ‘I’m fighting to pay taxes off’
Since 2013, UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone has fought 11 times. Within that period, there was a nine month span where he fought four times.
This past January, the "Cowboy" fought twice in span of two weeks. That level of activity is near unprecedented for fighters competing at the highest level of MMA.
"I’ve been taking those fights just to pay my taxes off, that’s what people don’t understand," he revealed.
"They give us this big chunk of money and then idiots like me spend it all. Then they tell me, ‘wait, you have to pay us our set.’ Then, I have to go fight again so I can pay them. (laughs)"
Cerrone’s devil may care attitude is certainly entertaining and human. However, it fits into a much larger and lamentable context.
That is, professional athletes getting into trouble with their unique financial situations. Many higher paid professional athletes than UFC fighters, from places like the NFL, and the NBA, often end up broke or in trouble with the IRS.
Many of those major sport athletes don’t plan for the fact that they’ll have to budget out pay checks that don’t come year-round, and UFC fighters have the added responsibility of putting aside money from earnings to pay taxes, later, since they are considered independent contractors.
The veteran Octagon announcer Buffer sagely advised Cerrone to have a chat with his own accountant – a former IRS investigator. Fortunately, Cerrone said he’d consider the offer.
After all, Cerrone will need to find some way to pass the time as he waits for his hard-earned lightweight title shot. Though he wants badly to become number one, Cerrone is unsentimental about the physical championship belt he’d earn should he beat current title-holder Rafael dos Anjos in their coming rematch.
"Yeah, as soon as I win it, because it don’t mean nothing to me, I’m going to launch it inside the RV and go about my business," the always cool Cerrone said.
"So, that’s what’s going to happen with that. That belt don’t reall mean much to me. Being first would be cool but the belt – I don’t care, man. And then I’m going to turn around and say, ‘let’s go…let’s fight as many times as we can.’"
Could Cerrone maintain his schedule of near-constant fighting as champion, however? After all, champions typically fight less often than contenders.
The thrill-seeking kickboxer said he’ll still be the same ol’ "Cowboy" should he become champ, though. "No, that’s just what they say," he said in response to the idea that champions fight less.
"I think you can do it whenever you want."