Interview: Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone talks about taking Benson Henderson down, fighting Khabib next, more
Not even a week has passed since Cerrone fought Myles Jury at UFC 182, but ‘Cowboy’ is back on the saddle, as he is set to replace an injured Eddie Alvarez in the co – main event of UFC Fight Night 59. Donald is scheduled to fight an old nemesis in the form of Benson Henderson, with the winner eyeing a possible title shot against Anthony Pettis or a match – up with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However before the fight night, Donald participated in a media conference call, where he answered several questions, and below is an excerpt from the interview.
What kind of impact do you think it has on your body when you come back two or three weeks later? Because I know after the weigh-in you kind of rehydrate and start doing things. So what impact does it have on your body fighting so quickly?
You know, I don’t have an answer for you on that one. Probably damaging I’m sure, but so is cocaine and alcohol so I’ve been hit a little less.
And from your standpoint because you fought Benson before does that make it easier to prepare? You’re going in on a short notice where you don’t have a chance to figure out what you want to do in the fight. The fact that you’ve fought him before, does that make it any easier for you?
Prepare? I don’t even have enough time to prepare a cake. What are you talking about prepare? I’m just going in there fighting. I’ve got enough time to cut weight and get to Boston. There will be no game planning - fight, that’s all there is to do. It’s short and sweet and get it over with.
I know obviously you did have those first two fights with Benson in the WEC. The first one was maybe one of the greatest fights of all time. The second one didn’t quite go your way, but what do you remember about those fights and how much of that does play into this third fight? Getting the chance to maybe avenge those two previous fights?
Oh it’s funny. Like this would be the one fight that I cannot honestly tell you guys I know nothing about my opponent. I know a lot about Benson. A good dude, a friend of mine. Those fights I was - years ago man. I don’t know. What do I take away from those? I take the losses that I got from them. I wouldn’t take this fight on short notice.
One, if I wasn’t completely bat loon and two if I didn’t think I couldn’t beat Ben. So I’m excited, confident and plan on going out there Sunday night and whipping the heck out of him. So that’s overall how I feel.
You said on Saturday night when we were in Vegas; you had said even kind of serious about taking the fight with Matt Brown in Colorado because that’s just the kind of guy you are, but taking a fight on short notice like this. Did Benson - did the fact that it was Benson, did that play a factor or did it really matter we want you to fight Conor McGregor would you take that fight too?
Yes, it didn’t matter at all. The opponent never matters. I just need a who. No, it didn’t factor in at all. Not one bit. The answer was still yes.
You like to turn around fight as soon as possible. But was there any part of you that was like Boston in about a week. I mean maybe that’s not something I want to do, even though it’s sort of your thing.
I tried to take the Jim Miller fight same amount of time when he fought - I’m not sure what opponent. I fought in Orlando and I drove the RV to Baltimore and Jim Miller fought and somebody filled in. But I did the same thing. I’ll fight Jim Miller next weekend. I’m good. Let’s go. So - my mentality I was going to take the fight then. And they ended up rescheduling the fight and him and I fought later. But yes my mentality was still the same.
There was a lot of expectations for your second fight with Ben. You know, your first one was really great and the second was, I believe, WEC 48 the pay per view right? It was on that card? There were sort of a lot of expectations, people were excited about it and then it went the way it did. Is this kind of a fight that you - I know you’ve always said it doesn’t matter who you fight you just want to fight, but is Ben kind of a guy you wanted a third crack at just because of the way the second one went?
Sure, because I don’t think of it like that. But sure, why not? I don’t care. Absolutely.
You’re on such an incredible run and you’ve kind said repeatedly that the title doesn’t really matter to you. You’re kind of taking fights, filling up the bank, living your life the way you want to live it, but after this fight against Benson is the title next after that if you win? Is that something that’s been discussed at all?
I have no idea. That’s something I could not tell you. I don’t have the formula for the title shot, but I know I beat Ben and there’s somebody else - I mean if I beat Ben who is left? I have no clue how that’s going to work. I have no idea. Don’t care.
Even if it was with Pettis and dos Anjos fighting in March would you even be willing to wait. You know, you’re on such a terror that’d be a couple months wait for you. Are you even open to that?
No, I’ll just go ahead and take on Khabib (Nurmagomedov). Tell him to come on.
I know you’re not one to sit back and break down tape and all that kind of stuff and I think you would probably use fighting as your training if that was possible, if they let you fight every couple of weeks, but looking back at Ben and yourself from having fought twice before, what do you see as the biggest differences in the way Ben fights now and also the way you fight now? As opposed to back then?
Sure, sure. Well Ben’s kicking game has come a long way. I see him using his kicks when he likes to wrestle off other peoples’ kicks. If that makes any sense to you guys, but, yes, he’s come a long way, but so have I. My wrestling has come full circle. So that’s one thing that I think is going to be a big factor in this fight and you might even see me taking Ben back down.
So I’m pumped. I’m excited. It’s been a long time coming. This fight, whether people talk about it or not, in my mind, some day we are going to cross paths again. I thought it was going to be for the belt, but here it is on 10 days’ notice. No time to think, no time to worry, just go out there and let reaction take over and fight.
Have you seen a big difference in the way Ben has approached the game mentally and the way you approach the game mentally lately?
You know, I don’t follow Ben that closely. When he fights I watch, but me definitely has changed. I’ve attacked mental (aspect) at a whole other angle. You’ll see the new Cowboy for sure in there Sunday night. The new mental crazy loon.
Be sure to tune into UFC Fight Night: McGregor – Siver on the 18th of this month (19th morning in India), live and exclusive on Sony Six.