It’s been an up-and-down couple of years for Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. After a 1-4 run coming into 2018, he pulled off three gutsy wins against tough opponents to place himself back in the pack right at the top of the division. Unfortunately, that pack included Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor. All three beat him, with Gaethje and McGregor putting “Cowboy” down in the first round.
Now Cerrone is looking to return back to his winning ways at UFC 249, but it will be against an opponent who has already beat him: Anthony Pettis finished him with a first round liver kick back in 2013, a finish that sticks out in Donald’s mind.
“He kicked my liver out of my body (in our first fight),” Cerrone said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “It sucked. Of course you always want to get a loss back, but it’s just stylistically a good matchup. It’s a good fight with good fun. It’s a fight the people want to see.
“I’m going out there looking for a win,” Cerrone continued. “Three losses is the worst thing I’ve ever done. It’s such a crazy and wild sport, the ups and the downs. This is my wheelhouse. Short-notice fights. I want to win. Go out and there and do what I do. I’m excited for this fight and for this matchup.”
But don’t think just because of the short notice nature of the fight and the Coronavirus situation, Cerrone isn’t training hard. Syndicate head coach John Wood moved out to the BMF Ranch to get “Cowboy” ready for this rematch.
And he likes what he sees.
“He’s looking great, he’s got a fire lit under his ass right now,” Wood told MMA Junkie. “I think coming off that last loss, it’s not sitting well with him and from what I see fired up and ready to go and motivated, we’re training two or three times a day right now, hitting in the morning, working afternoon and night. And he seems to be enjoying it again, he seems to be enjoying the process and himself. So I think you’re going to be seeing a super motivated Donald Cerrone in there and I think he’s gonna go in there and get it done for sure.”
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It is not the critic who counts!! The credit actually belongs to the men in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood— who at best knows in the END the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither VICTORY nor DEFEAT !! - Theodore Roosevelt
“Losing sucks and he’s not a guy that likes to lose,” Wood continued. “And people can say whatever they want, that fight ... that just happens sometimes, you go out there and Conor’s one of the best in the world, you get into a fight and things don’t go the way you want. You get hit quick, it can change everything. Until someone’s gotten into the cage with another human and been kneed in the face or elbowed, your whole gameplan can change like that. It can be over. So I think you just have to go in and kind of forget about the past. He’s fired up, he’s ready to go, he’s looking good right now.”
Pettis is pretty familiar with losing as well these days. The former WEC and UFC Lightweight champion is 4-8 over the past five years and coming into UFC 249 on a two-fight losing streak. Who will be more motivated to get back on the winning track? We’re kind of hoping it’s Cerrone, if only to see if he follows through on his crazy plan to stick around in Florida and continuing to fight through May.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 249 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.