Donald Cerrone put on a near-flawless performance on Saturday night, dominating Al Iaquinta for most of the five-round main event fight at UFC Fight Night 151 in Ottawa. However, according to “Cowboy,” it could have been a different outcome if it was his younger self fighting.
Cerrone has been accused in the past of being a slow starter and a fighter that takes his time to find his rhythm in a fight. The 36-year-old told reporters after his win that mentally something wasn’t right at the start of the fight and it took him until the second round to get focused on the task at hand (via MMAFighting.com).
“I was telling my corners, I felt terrible starting that fight,” Cerrone said. “I couldn’t find it, back in the locker room I didn’t want to warm up. I didn’t want to get ready, I didn’t want to hit pads, I didn’t want to wrestle. I didn’t want to fight until the second round. People always say I’m a slow starter and, ‘What Cowboy are you going to get?’ And we train hard, we train so hard and we try and find [ways] for our opponents to beat us so that we can show up and beat them on our worst day. And today was my worst day.
“Thank God it’s been 41 fights in Zuffa that I’ve been here because I was able to, like, fake it ‘til you make it, because you fake it long enough and you find it. In the second round it was like, there it is and let’s go to work. It’s just tough, because I think the younger me would have quit. It’s just crazy, there’s like memes out there of lions with little cubs saying, ‘I would have quit until I realized who was watching’ and it was like, yeah, mother---er, let’s go.”