Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight contender Donald Cerrone was riding a six-fight win streak heading into his bout against Nate Diaz at UFC 141: "Lesnar vs. Overeem" last December. A win would more than likely have catapulted the always entertaining fighter straight to the top of the crowded 155-pound division.
Unfortunately for "Cowboy," he ran into a very determined Nate Diaz.
In what was a "Fight of the Night" bonus winner, Diaz and Cerrone went toe-to-toe in an all stand-up war. After 15 minutes of action, Diaz prevailed the victor, earning the unanimous decision by out striking Cerrone, and setting a CompuStrike striking record for a three round fight, in the process.
Now, looking to start another win streak, "Cowboy" will take on Jeremy Stephens at UFC on Fuel TV: "Korean Zombie vs. Poirier" on May 15, 2012, at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. With "Lil' Heathen" preferring the stand up game as well, expect another "Fight of the Night" candidate when the two talented lightweights step into the Octagon.
Should Cerrone come out victorious, he already has plans on calling out Diaz once again for a rematch, in a fight he hopes to take place in his home state when the UFC heads to Denver, Colo., on Aug., 11, 2012, for UFC 150, which features the rematch for Lightweight title between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson.
Appearing on Pro MMA Radio, the Jackson-Winkeljohn-trained fighter talks about what went wrong in his fight with Diaz, his recent hospital trips, and also gives his perspective on his upcoming bout.
"I haven't really watched the fight to tell you the truth, I was just real flat-footed, man I was just off. Some people have off nights and that was a hell of an off night, you know? I wasn't fighting the way I fight. No excuses, he showed up that night and I didn't. My hat's off to the dude. He looked real good against Jim Miller. I'm a fan of the dude. As much shit as we were talking, he goes out there and fights, that's what he does. After this fight, I'm going to call him out and get him to fight me in a rematch in Denver, see if he takes the bait. He throws down, I would like to fight him again on the main card and get that fight of the night because it would be another scrap for sure."
Diaz recently revealed that he will indeed wait for his chance to compete for the title against the winner of "The Answer" and "Smooth" at UFC 150, which he earned after he defeated Jim Miller via second round submission at UFC on Fox 3 this past weekend (May 5, 2012). Should Nate decide to take another fight in the interim, Cerrone would probably have to wait his place in line, seeing as how Anthony Pettis wants his crack at at the new number one lightweight contender, as well.
Before Cerrone can look forward to a rematch with Diaz, he has his hands full against the scrappy and hard hitting Stephens:
"He ain't much of a kicker, I kick, but he has heavy hands. He throws a big overhand and gots good body shots and has good takedowns. When he is on top he is doing very well. So, where do I need to take him? I need to put him on his back and stay long and out strike him. Yeah, my submission game is feeling incredible right now, it's something I've really been working on. I'm coming out, I'm winning, I know that. I'm going for the finish any chance I get."
"Cowboy" also revealed that he recently had to make a couple of hospital visits due to staph infection and a serious case of intestine problems which required a lengthy hospital stay. However, he says that none of that will interfere with his performance in Virginia:
"This fight was a son of a bitch man. I had staph infection in my knee so bad I had to go into the emergency room and get IV's. I just get out of the hospital and I get pulled right back in because I rolled my stomach. My stomach got twisted, so I did eight more days in the intensive care unit, so, it was pretty sweet man. I twisted one of my intestines right below my stomach, in training. I got into an accident, so my stomach is messed up anyways, from years ago. They were talking about surgery. They were going to try one thing where they let all of my intestines out and they fill me full of water and try to unspin it, and that worked, thank God, I guess, so. I'm not telling you that (when it happened), because I don't want anyone else to know, you're the first person I said it to. The whole thing was hush, hush, hush. The only person that new was the insurance company of the UFC. I don't want anyone saying, "Oh, he was in the hospital, he ain't training." Shit, let's go, I'm ready, there ain't no stopping me. I was in the hospital for me knee and my guts, let's go. I'm a cowboy to the end, so. I'm healthy and great. If anything, it just helped lose weight."
Eager to get back on the horse, "Cowboy" appears to be more than healthy and ready to right his ship.
But will "Lil' Heathen" derail his plans of a rematch with Diaz? Or will Cerrone makes sure he doesn't have another "off night" and get back to his winning ways?