Donald Cerrone has long been fan favorite, but he’s never been able to get over the hump and win a world title. That might change this year if everything falls into place.
Cerrone was masterful on Saturday night in the main event of UFC Fight Night 151. “Cowboy” picked apart the tough Al Iaquinta for five rounds, busted up his face and had him reeling several times due to punches to the head. Cerrone (36-11, 1 NC) was on the verge of possibly stopping Iaquinta, but had to settle for a rather lopsided unanimous decision after coming in as a moderate betting underdog.
“Not bad for a day drinking Don, huh?” Cerrone laughed after his win. “I guess I’m doing it for all of the old people out there. Man. There’s still a chance.”
Joking aside, Cerrone has a newfound vigor in his career. He had lost three in a row in 2017 and then went 1-1 before turning things around last November. “Cowboy” attributes his current three-fight winning streak to becoming a father and is dead set on eventually snatching up that elusive UFC title. Cerrone has done everything in the sport except win a championship. He has the most post-fight awards in both WEC (five) and UFC (17) history, so the only thing he needs now is that gold around his waist.
“I’m coming for that title,” he stated. “I guess the dad Cerrone is 3-0 now, so I’m on a new mission, I gotta build my son a swimming pool. I want the title, whatever that means, unless Conor McGregor, you want to fight me in July. I’m ready, Fourth of July, let’s do it.”
Cerrone believes he is at the top of his game and belongs at the top of the 155-pound division. He’s confident that he can beat the absolute best there is at lightweight and that it’s simply a matter of time before the Coloradoan proves it.
“I should beat these guys, man,” he said of such potential foes like McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. “I feel like I’m the best in the world. I feel like that’s where I belong.”
Cerrone admitted that he’d fight McGregor because of much money he’d pocket, and he also understands that a title shot might not happen until late in 2019. However, he added that his feelings might be hurt if the UFC skipped him in favor of another contender.
“For the UFC not to give me a title shot, I would step back, and I would be thoroughly disappointed,” he said. “I’d be like, ‘Wow, a guy who’s done all this in the sport. I don’t trash talk, I go in there, and I deliver every time, and you’re going to overlook me for somebody else?’ I’d be really upset.”
Conversely, “Cowboy” would be more inclined to ignore a title snub if “Notorious” would be his next foe inside the Octagon.
“On the flip side, if Conor wants to fight, f--k yeah,” Cerrone said. “Let’s go. Especially in July. I’m ready. Let’s turn and burn, baby, because (the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier) won’t be ready until [after] September.”