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Donald Cerrone: Getting past Khabib Nurmagomedov would make a statement

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UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone is out to prove that he is a top contender with a victory over undefeated Dagestani lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Donald Cerrone has earned the reputation as a fighter who is always ready to step into the octagon on short notice. This time, however, against undefeated Dagestani lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov, he has been given ample time to prepare himself for the highly anticipated No. 1 contender bout.

Yet even the extra time to prepare has not affected Cerrone's approach to fighting. He has already fought twice in 2015, which has allowed him to stay in shape over the first quarter of the year - long enough to brace himself for the Caucasian wrestling machine.

"I'm just training and getting ready for Khabib," Cerrone said ahead of UFC 184. "I've known that that fight has been in the works for a while. I stayed training all year round so I don't really have a training camp.

"Essentially, I have an 8-12 week camp but I train year-round. When I'm sore, tired, and want to snowmobile for a week, I just do it."

While he is aware that his upcoming fight can be perceived as a No. 1 contender bout, Cerrone insists that it will do little to impact his strategic approach to the fight. He did, however, admit that a win over Khabib would likely cement his status as a legitimate competitor instead of simply a fan favourite.

"I don't care. It is just another fight to me. Makes no difference. I'll be ready for Khabib. I have wrestlers coming in. Getting past Khabib would make a statement - maybe ‘Cowboy' is not just talk. He's the real deal and will go after that belt.