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Donald Cerrone plans to finish Oliveira, doesn’t think Conor McGregor will jump to 170

658   //    21 Feb 2016, 12:52 IST
Cerrone takes on Oliveira in a “Cowboy versus Cowboy” showdown

Donald Cerrone is a man of few words. Other than taking fights at a moment’s notice and knocking out his opponents, “Cowboy” doesn’t dwell too much into what is happening around him. Cerrone was on an 8 fight win streak before he fought Rafael Dos Anjos in December, and the Brazilian brought his A-game, finishing Cerrone in just over a minute in the very first round.

However, Cerrone doesn’t like to think too much about the past. Cerrone immediately said he wanted to take another fight and move on with his career, and jumped to 170. Cerrone was scheduled to fight Tim Means, however, Means was pulled from the card for a violation of the USADA anti – doping policy, and in an interesting turn of events, another local cowboy took the fight on short notice.

Cerrone and Oliveira have more than just their nicknames in common. Both fighters have an extensive background in Muay Thai and prefer to fight on their feet.

Oliveira is a dangerous fighter, with his quick power punches while Cerrone likes to establish his range before going for his combinations. Much like Cerrone, Oliveira likes staying active, and will be taking part in his 10th fight in just over 2 years.

So have we seen the last of Cerrone at 155? Although Cerrone isn’t sure, he is open to fighting at 155 again. “I don’t know, it doesn’t matter to me. I can go back and forth.”

Cerrone has expressed his disappointment about his last outing inside the Octagon, and what better way to make a statement at 170 than to knock his opponent out? “I feel really good about this fight. I don’t know, how do I see this fight play out? I’m going to go out there and finish him.”

Oliveira’s walking weight is around 185, and as such, has a much bigger frame than Cerrone. One key advantage for Oliveira will be his exchanges in the clinch, with the Brazilian packing a lot of power. So, would Cerrone try to use his superior grappling skills to submit Oliveira?

Cerrone isn’t really interested in taking the fight to the ground. “I do believe I have better grappling than him. But I’ll be a stand-up fighter. I’ll go out there and out strike him.”

Cerrone’s major concern as seen during his previous fights against Eddie Alvarez and Dos Anjos has been his inability to get going in the first round. Cerrone prefers getting his timing and range right, and then go for his combinations. Cerrone believes that is an aspect of his game that he has to deal with.

Also, as seen during the “Go Big” press conference last year, Cerrone isn’t a big fan of Conor McGregor. With Conor recently announcing his intentions to move up to 170 after the Dos Anjos fight, Cerrone might still get to face the Irishman. However, “Cowboy” doesn’t think Conor will jump to 170. “Conor is not coming to 170. But yeah, I’d love to fight the dude at 155 or whatever.”

Conor isn’t one to back down from a verbal joust, and had recently put Cerrone on blast, saying he “quit” inside the Octagon during his fight with Dos Anjos. While Cerrone doesn’t know nor care about Conor’s chances against Dos Anjos at 155, Cerrone also said he doesn’t pay much attention to what Conor has to say. “I don’t really know if he can go or not. I don’t know what the sum bi*ch had to say about me.”

After his fight with Dos Anjos, Cerrone found himself in hot soup with Reebok and the UFC. However, Cerrone has also admitted that he knew what he was getting into, and didn’t blame anyone else. Asked if Cerrone would still do what he believed was right irrespective of the repercussions, the hard-hitting fighter said, “Absolutely, I sure do.”

But that is currently the last thing on Cerrone’s mind.

Cerrone previously talked about finding the weight cut for 170 easy and said his diet still includes some of the things he enjoys – something he had to give up while making weight for 155. “Oh yeah, absolutely the easiest, 100%”, Cowboy said if he found the weight cut for 170 the easiest in his career.

Cerrone would want to bounce back from his loss with a quick KO victory, and predicted a quick finish. “The fight will be pretty exciting to watch. Don’t miss, don’t blink.” And do the Indian UFC fans have a chance to get a glimpse of Cerrone anytime soon? “About coming to India? I have no idea if that will ever happen”, Cerrone said, “but sure!”

You can catch UFC Fight Night 83: Cerrone vs. Oliveira this Monday, 22nd February at 7:30 AM IST, live and exclusively on SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD.

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MMA/UFC/professional wrestling fan. A Manchester United fan through and through. Might also be seen cheering on Nadal and Djoko.
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