Former UFC lightweight title challenger and current No. 5-ranked welterweight Donald Cerrone has been on quite the tear since making the jump up to 170-pounds, having amassed a four-fight win streak against some hefty competition.
Cowboy most recently comes off of a crushing third round knockout victory over ‘The Immortal’ Matt Brown in the co-main event of UFC 206, making quite the statement and propelling himself into the title contention conversation. In typical Cerrone-like fashion the JacksonWink product wanted to make a quick turnaround back into the Octagon, and will now take on Jorge Masvidal in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 23 next week (Saturday, January 28, 2017).
Recently Cerrone spoke to FOX Sports to discuss the current state of the 170-pound division, and would love to compete on the same card as Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson in their welterweight title bout at UFC 209:
“I just care about keep on fighting. I know they’ve got the (Tyron) Woodley-(Stephen) Thompson fight coming in March. I wouldn’t mind getting a No. 1 contender fight in March also maybe on the same card and then fight the winner of those two,” Cerrone told FOX Sports.
“Just more about keep on fighting. I don’t want to sit and wait. I just like to stay busy.”
Currently above Cerrone in the welterweight rankings sit former champion Robbie Lawler and No. 3-ranked Demian Maia, who both interest Cowboy for a potential throw-down inside the Octagon for a title eliminator. The name that seemed to light a fire under Cerrone, however, was the Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist Maia who is content to wait for his shot at the 170-pound title after having racked up an impressive six-fight win streak.
Being known as a fighter who doesn’t like to take much time off, Maia’s decision to wait for the winner of Woodley and Thompson for his shot at the welterweight throne seems to have rubbed Cerrone the wrong way:
“Whoever, if I could fight in March. I know the title fight, they’re going to be fighting in March so we’ll have to get a No. 1 contender,” Cerrone said. “Hopefully, Demian Maia will (expletive) want to pull the trigger and not just keep waiting or Robbie (Lawler).
“Whoever’s above us. I don’t even care. I don’t (expletive) give a (expletive).”
As for a fight with Lawler, Cowboy had already agreed to fight ‘Ruthless’ at UFC 205 in New York, but the former champion decided to withdraw from the bout due to health concerns. Now that Lawler has had a bit more time to recover from his knockout loss to Woodley back in July, Cerrone says he’d gladly accept a bout with him again:
“(Nick) Diaz turned Robbie down. (Expletive) Maia turned Robbie down. You know who didn’t turn (expletive) Robbie down? Me,” Cerrone said.
“I said (expletive) yeah, bring that (expletive) on. That name don’t scare me none. I love Robbie but (expletive) come on.”
Cerrone says if he can secure the welterweight title in his next two fights, he’ll gladly defend the strap three times before year’s end, but we’ll have to see how things play out for the UFC veteran:
“Let’s do it,” Cerrone said. “If I could get six fights in 2017, my coaches would be happy, I’ll be happy and we’ll get a title fight and defend that (expletive) three times, I’ll be good to go!”
“If I could, I would,” Cerrone said without hesitation.”
Cerrone will meet Masvidal in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 23 from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado next weekend (Saturday, January 28, 2017).