UFC FN 45: Donald Cerrone Willing to Fight “Anybody, I Don’t Care”, After Latest Stoppage Win
By Kelsey Mowatt
While Donald Cerrone might not be the first name that comes to people’s minds, when asked to name one of MMA’s biggest stars, “Cowboy’s” fanbase continues to grow. After all, not only has Cerrone entrenched himself as one of the UFC’s top lightweights, thanks to an impressive record and a long list of stoppage wins, but the vet says he’s willing to take on all comers. Even if Nate Diaz apparently isn’t a fan.
Case in point, following Cerrone’s memorable, stoppage win over Jim Miller last night at UFC Fight Night 45, the 31 year-old offered this (quote via FOX Sports press release):
“Anybody, I don’t care,” said Cerrone, when asked who he wants to fight next. “All the UFC has to do is call me and say Cowboy we need you here on this date and I’ll say ok.”
Due to the fact Cerrone was handed defeats by Rafael dos Anjos, and current champ Anthony Pettis last year, the vet isn’t knocking on the door for a title shot just yet. That said, thanks to consecutive victories over Evan Dunham, Adriano Martins, Edson Barboza and now Miller, Cerrone remains a threat to crack the promotion’s top five rankings.
In the past, Cerrone has admitted to having issues at the start of fights, which has contributed to some of his defeats. According to the Jackson-Winkeljohn fighter, however, he’s taking steps to remedy the problem.
“Being able to get out there and start fast was something I was having issues with,” Cerrone said afterwards. “I did a lot of unconventional training for this fight, like sprinting, playing Ultimate Frisbee, wakeboarding, to get my mind right. As far as the finish, I kept going to his body, his body, and then faked the body and went high and he started favoring that side and I saw it and thank god it worked. I did a lot of sprints on the track and track work.”
While Cerrone has scored many notable wins during his career, last night’s victory over Miller has to be at the top of the list. Cerrone was largely able to neutralize the takedown game of the BJJ black belt with well timed knees, and he battered Miller throughout with kicks to the legs and body. In round two, Cerrone put the perennial contender away with a kick to the head and a follow up punch.
“We talked about the left body kick,” FOX Sports commentator Daniel Cormier relayed. “Jim Miller got kicked in the stomach, and that wasn’t a low kick. The fight should have been stopped right then. Cerrone had Miller backing up with his kicks and established the distance.”
“Jim Miller got off to a good start. But Donald Cerrone got his range as the fight went on,” Kenny Florian noted in the FOX Sports, post fight show. “It wasn’t the last kick that got him the win. It was the variety of kicks and punches he was really mixing up and Jim Miller had no idea where he was going. I feel like Miller ran out of weapons and Cerrone just didn’t respect him after a certain point in the fight.”
Now it remains to be seen if Cerrone can close out 2014 having gone undefeated. If he can, and he does so by defeating yet another of the promotion’s top 155’ers, then a title shot run will certainly be in motion.
UFC FN 45 was hosted by the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.