With Donald Cerrone fighting 15 days after last bout, we look at the trend of back-to-back fights 7 years ago

With Donald Cerrone fighting 15 days after last bout, we look at the trend of back-to-back fights

Donald Cerrone is a beast who just always wants to fight, maybe too much so for his own good.

"Cowboy" easily dealt with the then-undefeated lightweight competitor Myles Jury in a unanimous decision victory at last Saturday's UFC 182.

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The UFC then jokingly posted this photo of Cerrone claiming that he was demanding another fight.

But the jokes soon became reality as he stepped up to take the place of the injured Eddie Alvarez for a fight with rival Benson Henderson on Sunday's UFC Fight Night 59 card.

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The distance between his bouts stands at a measly 15 days and, while everyone's swelling with admiration for the heart of the 26-6-1NC fighter, that gap could prove to be too short for the ballsy lightweight.

The standard break for a fighters to recuperate after a fight is roughly 3-4 months but admittedly some fighters are more active than others.

Regardless, a fighter enjoying just a month, or less, between fights is seen as pretty damn short.

We examined the past history of fighters competing with little to no rest period and have come up with five fighters whose experience would suggest it's a good idea and five who would lead us to believe that it's a bad one.

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Good idea

The pro argument is based around the suggestion that a competitor fighting so shortly after his last outing is helpful as the fighter is still in the right mindframe, their weight won't have ballooned up too much and that there will be no risk of ring rust.

Here are five fighters who have flourished with the lack of a rest period.

Just last year, Chas Skelly competed with just 13 days of a break when he submitted Tom Niinimaki at UFC Fight Night 49 on August 23, 2014 before going on to outscrap Sean Soriano at UFC Fight Night 50 on September 5.

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Chris Leben handed Aaron Simpson his first professional loss at The Ultimate Fighter 11 finale on June 19, 2010. A fortnight later, "The Crippler" uses all his freshness to overcome Yoshihiro Akiyama via triangle choke at UFC 116 on July 3.

The now-retired Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald needed less than a month to get back in the saddle in 2008. He was submitted by Demian Maia at UFC 87 on 9 August before rebounding and getting the win over Jason Lambert at UFC 88 on 6 September, unusually using the same technique with which he was submitted.

Krzysztof Soszynski is another man who laughs in the face of having three months off. "The Polish Experiment" also needed just the month to get back fit enough to knock out André Gusmão at UFC 98 on May 23 2009, about a month after he used his signature kimura to get the win over Brian Stann at UFC 97 on April 18.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who is currently in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, really reaped the benefits of having just five weeks off when he secured his 205lb title over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 on March 19, 2011. That victory came hot on the heels of his UFC 126 guillotine victory over Ryan Bader on February 5, 2011.

 

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Bad idea

On the other side of the coin, some fighters time their pre-fight routine to the point where they peak at just the right time for fight week. It sounds difficult, to the point of impossible for a fighter to be able to peak twice with just a fortnight to prepare. Here are five fighters who have struggled to recapture their form when they've had to deal with short back-to-back fights.

Current light heavyweight top contender Anthony Johnson was caught out less than a month after he impressed against Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 104 on October 24, 2009, when he was submitted by Josh Koscheck at UFC 106 on November 21.

 Lavar Johnson was clearly brimming with confidence after his first round TKO victory over Pat Barry at UFC on Fox 3 on May 5, 2012, when he accepted a short-notice fight with Stefan Struve at UFC 146 on May 26. Johnson lasted only a minute into the second bout, falling to an armbar submission to the 7 ft heavyweight.

Dustin Pague had just 13 days to get back in fight-mode after he tapped out Jared Papazian on June 8, 2012, at UFC on FX 3. When June 22 came around, though, "The Disciple" as he lost a split decision to Ken Stone at UFC on FC 4.

Al Iaquinta fought a WEEK after his TUF victory over Vinc Pichel on May 25, 2012. While this was the live series of The Ultimate Fighter and the bout was technically an exhibition contest, the New Yorker still just had six days to prepare for the finale where he was submitted by Michael Chiesa on June 1.

After Rick Story defeated the always game Thiago Alves at UFC 130 on May 28 2011, he felt he had the momentum to accept a bout against Charlie Brenneman at UFC on Versus 4. But the luck didn't carry over and the "The Horror" fell to a unanimous decision los on June 26.

So the results are mixed. Some fighters flourish when they have little time to psyche themselves out between fights while some fighters crumble to pressure. It's unknown as of yet into which of these two categories that Donald Cerrone falls but we're banking on him to show up and impress, like he always does.