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Donald Cerrone dismisses critics leading into UFC 249, looks to go from ‘bum to superstar’ in one week

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Donald Cerrone will try to end a three-fight losing skid tomorrow night (Sat., May 9, 2020) at UFC 249 from inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., when he challenges former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis to a rematch on the ESPN “Prelims.”

Cerrone has only experienced a three-fight losing streak once before. That came back in 2017 and “Cowboy” was able to respond in his next fight with a first-round TKO finish over Yancy Medeiros.

Adding more pressure to Cerrone’s short-notice return this weekend is the fact that he’s coming off arguably the most disappointing outing of his professional MMA career when he lasted just 40 seconds against Conor McGregor at UFC 246 this past January. It was Cerrone’s most high-profile Octagon appearance to date and one that didn’t go quite as well as he expected, which left “Cowboy” open to vast criticism when the dust settled.

“It doesn’t define me.” Cerrone told MMA Fighting. “I look myself in the mirror, I don’t give a sh*t what the people at home say. I don’t pay attention. I don’t read nothing, I don’t watch nothing. I don’t get on social media and see what people have to say.

“I think I’m really good at staying the hell away from that. I got my ranch that I live. I’ve got so much life going on that I don’t any idea what the people that don’t have life going on have to say.”

Despite his ability to put the past behind him, “Cowboy” understands that he isn’t in the best of positions entering his rematch with Pettis this weekend at UFC 249. That’s because fighters are usually as good as their last fight and Cerrone is coming off a true stinker.

Luckily, Cerrone has the opportunity to turn his recent misfortunes upside down and re-establish himself as one of the premier superstars in the sport.

“It f*cking sucks, because you’re only as good as your last fight,” Cerrone said. “Now I’m only as good as my last three and godd*amn. A win is something that I’m motivated, excited for.”

“What’s really cool I’m here for all three fights. Think what they’re going to say when “Cowboy” goes 3-0 in f*cking one week. Then I’m going to be back on the greatest again. So it’s going to be all right. I’m going from a bum to a superstar.”

While Pettis isn’t an easy opponent by any stretch of the imagination Cerrone believes he’s better suited for a short-notice fight than “Showtime.” After all, “Cowboy” has been fighting on short notice for years upon years, which is why he’s entering his record 35th UFC fight this weekend in Jacksonville.

“It’s kind of right up my alley,” Cerrone said. “I won’t have any time to get scared or get in my own head. Just go out there and hopefully have some fun. I don’t have the answer for you. If I had the answer, I’d have cured it the last fight. Today, I feel great. Tomorrow, how do I feel? I don’t know. Who’s going to show up? F*cking no idea, but I feel good. Training went well. They talk about people’s fires coming and going, you’ve got to rekindle it, re-fire it up, re-get pumped. I don’t know why I didn’t have it last time on the biggest card, biggest everything. It sucked. A real kick in the d*ck.

“It feels a lot smoother to me. Sometimes those long camps are just [grueling], all the media obligations, all the 12 weeks to get ready. You don’t have time to think about it. You just get in and go. I enjoy ‘em. I love it. That’s why I’m the short notice guy.”

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+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 249: “Ferguson vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.