Donald Cerrone still has plenty left in the tank.
Cerrone takes on Alex Morono in a short-notice welterweight bout at UFC Vegas 26 this weekend. “Cowboy” was originally supposed to fight Diego Sanchez in the headliner until the latter found himself released by the promotion.
Regardless, Cerrone will still get to compete as he has a chance at snapping a five-fight run without a win. After his last outing that saw him draw with Niko Price — a result that ended a four-fight losing streak — UFC president Dana White notably claimed it might be time for him to have a conversation with Cerrone about his fighting future.
As far as Cerrone is concerned, that conversation never happened.
And while he was certainly hurt that White felt his time was up, Cerrone is even more pumped to compete again after taking part in a grappling match with Rafael dos Anjos at a Submission Underground event in December.
“Hell yeah it hurts,” Cerrone told MMA Junkie. “What do you mean? Of course. We took a little slower approach this year, but I don’t know. I am getting old. I am. I need to slow my fighting down a little bit, for sure. Let my head heal – but sh*t, we’re ready. Doing that grappling tournament with (Rafael dos Anjos) was like the best thing I ever did. It got me excited into jiu-jitsu again. It got me excited and training and fired up. I shouldn’t say fired up, because it’s not like the fire ever left. I hate that term. In a way, I got excited about it again.
“I fell back in love with jiu-jitsu, and I’m excited to go out there and participate. I keep trying to find something to fill the void. Racing, I do it every day all day long, and I get excited, nervous. Saturday I get to do the most exciting and nervous thing I’ve ever done, and every time I love it. I feel good. Team’s good. Body’s good. Can’t wait.”
With Cerrone implying that the UFC wanted him to remain on the card, the New Mexico native doesn’t see his upcoming contest with Morono as a do-or-die fight.
All he plans on doing is enjoying what he loves to do.
“It’s the same conversation I had with Sean (Shelby) and Dana,” Cerrone added. “Like, ‘The Diego fight’s out, you want me to take a short-notice fight?’ I’m not on a four-fight winning streak. It’s actually the opposite. I don’t want to be in here fighting for my job. I don’t want to come to you like ‘Man, I shouldn’t have done that.’
“All that aside, that’s not even in my thought. Like, ‘Oh, I have to win. This is a must-win.’ I get to go in, I get to go fight. I get to do what I love. So, I feel great. The age is no factor on me right now. I’m not beat up or sore.”