After a three fight win streak that saw him on the verge of a lightweight title shot, the pendulum has now swung the other way for Donald Cerrone. Leaving UFC on ESPN+ 16, he’s now looking at two back to back losses on his record. Sure, those come to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, but it still can’t be a good feeling.
Despite all this, “Cowboy” was his typical happy and optimistic self during the post-fight press conference (watch the whole thing here). Even about the not-so-controversial stoppage, which initially had Cerrone protesting.
“Man, I ain’t making any excuses,” Cerrone said. “The ref clearly thought I couldn’t continue, so ... that’s the way this game is. Sometimes, you get the ref that lets you get pounded in. Sometimes, the one that won’t. I got the one that wouldn’t. So maybe it’s better for the longevity for me and my boy here. Maybe he didn’t beat me retarded, so that’s good.”
The fight with Gaethje marked Cerrone’s 50th fight, but he made it clear he wasn’t close to being done.
”I want fifty [wins]!” Cerrone exclaimed. “Fifty is the number I want, so I’ve got new for my coaches and corners: There’s going to be a lot more ups and downs and sidewaysies. When you’re winning, everyone wants to know, ‘What are you doing so special that you win?’ And then when you lose, everyone’s like, ‘What didn’t you do?’ Nothing, man. I trained hard. I trained my ass off. It just didn’t work out, so we’re going to go to the drawing board and we’re going to fix these things.”
”Like I said, I love this and I’m not going anywhere. This isn’t a fight where ‘Ah man, I’m thinking about retirement, guys.’ I’m gonna go home, I’m gonna ... maybe work on head movement, something. Whatever shot he got me with. And I’m gonna call, I’m gonna get another fight scheduled, and you’re gonna see me again, we’re gonna be talking in this scrum again and I’m gonna be like ‘Man, I f**kin’ love this. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.’”
Even with the two loss skid, “Cowboy” remained confident he’d still reach his goal of a UFC championship.
“I’m going to get the belt, it’s going to happen,” Cerrone said. “I guess I just slid down the rung a little bit, but I’m going to come back, I’m gonna to train hard, and I’m going to get it. It’s the last thing I’ve got to do with my legacy. You can have the greatest legacy in the world but if I don’t have a belt it just falls a little short. So now, me, reflecting on everything, that’s one thing I want.”
Will he be crushed if he doesn’t pull it off?
”Nah. I tried,” he said. “It’s something I can teach my boy. Man, I tried. I gave it hell, baby.”