INTERVIEWER: "And do you feel that maybe your emotions might have a lot to play in this?"
DONALD CERRONE: "I hope my emotions have all to do, yeah, I hope my emotions have everything to do with this fight. I hope they come out and I'm just fucking fired up and all I want to do is go out there and kill him and that's what going to get me going that first round, you know, I want to come in that first round and just rip his face off, you know that's the plan. I don't want to come in and sit back and let him dictate it, I hope my emotions drive me. I fight better on emotion, ask Leonard, he trains me every day. When I'm hot and some new guy comes in the gym and wants to throw down, that's when I do my best, you know. So, I hope my emotions take over and I just kill this dude. I hope this is the first death in MMA."
He also got very homophobic/sexist:
INTERVIEWER: "I mean, I have to laugh because... I mean, no one hates someone more than you hate Jamie Varner. I mean, it's just..."
DONALD CERRONE: "This is real, this isn't like the WEC trying to get us to you know to amp it up, which I'm not. He's really a fag. I mean, that's what he is, you know, and his true colors will show up. You can't hide your colors, man. They're going to turn up and everyone's going to see. He's going to call timeout or he's going to look for a way out, he's got the bitch gene, man, and when you have a bitch gene it don't matter what you do you can't fight and you're either born with it and that's who you are as a person and you can't fix that, you know, and it's going to come out."
He apologized later on Twitter, but only for the death threat:
He went on to do a much more controlled interview at SBNation.com but this won't get a fraction of the attention:
Are you worried about your emotions affecting you in this fight? Are you worried that because of the emotional nature of this fight you'll somehow stray from the gameplan?
I'm hoping my emotions just take over and that's what drives me to take over when I'm tired and sore. I want my emotions to just help me push through.
Are you worried about how he might react in this fight? Let his emotions get the better of him somehow?
I really dont give a shit about anything he has to do. This fight is all about me. It's about me dictating the pace and speed. Where the fight goes has nothing to do with him, so as far as what he's planning on doing? I don't care.
Steve Cofield comments:
Trash talk is a way of life in the fight game but it seems too often that guys are ripping out the homophobic or anti-female material. There's plenty of ways to call someone a wimp without stooping to hateful levels.
As far as, "the first death in MMA" line, Cerrone did apologize last night on Twitter. The guess here is that nothing will happen to Cerrone. It looks like UFC's flap with Mir probably went a little deeper than just his now infamous line on Pittsburgh radio. But fighters should take notice. Stop saying you want to kill your opponent.
There's a bit of a fly trapped in amber quality about the Cerrone/Varner feud. They've both been beaten by current WEC lightweight champ Benson Henderson since their infamous fight at WEC 38. Neither man is really on the upswing in his career and they're trapped in a low-paying, second tier promotion whose ratings are on the downslide.
Don't get me wrong, I love the WEC, but only it's Featherweight and Bantamweight divisions are world class and even those are not drawing viewers unless Urijah Faber is fighting. Until Zuffa extricates itself from it's current Spike TV and Versus Network contracts and can merge the FW and BW classes into the UFC and reorganizes the WEC as a true feeder league for prospects, fighters in the WEC lightweight division are in an odd netherworld with no clear path to the top.
The Cerrone/Varner feud should at least build some heat for the September 30th WEC 51 card which is utterly stacked, but the fact that he went too far and now has to reel it back in deflates any build he achieved.
I have no doubt that the antipathy between Cerrone and Varner is 100% genuine and not some Chael Sonnen/Tito Ortiz pro wrestling style build requiring kayfabe, but honestly, it's easier to do effective fight promotion if you don't really hate the opponent.
Just as Cerrone's coach Greg Jackson will tell you it's imperative that fighters control their emotions in the cage and not fight from anger, it's also helpful if they can exert self-control while smack talking to build a fight.
UPDATE: Some of you apparently forgot that Frank MIr lost his announcing job with the WEC over making death threats in pre-fight smack talk. Also check out this piece on WEC fighter Anthony Njoukuani and how his career was impacted by making homophobic remarks on twitter.