Longtime UFC veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is one of the biggest fan favorites in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community.
Its been a rough time for Cerrone lately, however, as he has lost three of his last four Octagon appearances – two of those loses coming by way of TKO. Now, fresh off a first-round victory over up-and-comer Yancy Medeiros, Cerrone is looking to take out yet another young contender.
His upcoming opponent Leon Edwards is one of the more promising 170-pound fighters on the UFC’s roster. The Birmingham native is on a five-fight win streak. He’s taking a huge step up in competition when he main events UFC Singapore tomorrow morning (Sat. June 23, 2018) against former lightweight title challenger Cerrone.
Despite watching Cerrone as a young man, the 26-year-old told MMA Fighting that he’s not much of a fan of Cowboy’s:
“He’s a legend of the sport, but I wouldn’t say I was a fan of his,” Edwards said. “Just [because] his approach to fighting, I think it’s more like a journeyman. I don’t think he cares whether he wins or loses. He just shows up and as long as he fights, that’s good for him.
“To me, I think his approach is more like a journeyman approach. You’re just there to fight, you’re not there to win or lose. I don’t think it bothers him, whether he wins or loses anyway — that’s his approach. But my approach is I want to win every fight and I want to be a world champion. That’s my aim in the sport.”
Cerrone’s chin seems to have dwindled in recent years, which isn’t surprising given how frequently the Jackson Wink MMA product fights. With all that being said, Edwards believes that Cerrone’s best days are in the rear-view mirror:
“I think so,” Edwards said. “He’s a 36-year-old man now and he took a lot of damage in his last, what, six or seven outings. He took a lot of damage. We’ve watched his last four or five fights, and honestly there’s a blueprint there, and I can [execute] it. As far as why he’s really struggling, I don’t know.
“Welterweight is probably just too big for him, or his chin is deteriorating. It could be anything. Like I said, he’s a 36-year-old man. His style of fighting, the way he’s fought, it’s been the same realistically for, what, his last 10 or 15 fights? I don’t think there’s much different in his game, really, that’s changed over the last 10 or 15 fights, from what I’ve seen anyway.
“So people are probably just getting used to what he does and what he throws, and everything else. There’s no [mystery] there.”
Edwards 100 percent believes he’s the better fighter heading into his clash with Cerrone, and is looking to make a statement to the UFC and the welterweight division.
If all goes according to plan, Edwards hopes to receive the same treatment his fellow Englishman Darren Till received after his own victory over Cowboy:
“I think I’m the better fighter,” Edwards said. “My striking, I feel my striking is there. I’m well-rounded, so I feel like wherever the fight goes, I’ll be the better man on the night, so it’s just me going out there and proving it now.
“I feel I need a finish in this fight to prove my case,” Edwards added. “To get to where I really want to get to, I feel a decision won’t be enough for me. So I’m going out there for the finish and having my way.”