Donald Cerrone earned a huge win this past Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 9, thrashing Al Iaquinta in the main event at the Canadian Tyre Centre in Ottawa, Canada to re-establish himself as a top contender in the shark tank that is the UFC lightweight division.
Despite this and despite bagging a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus, ‘Cowboy’ says UFC Fight Night 151 was arguably his ‘worst day’ as a professional fighter.
According to Cerrone, he could barely warm up backstage and it took him a full round inside the cage before he was able to find his groove.
“I was telling my corners, I felt terrible starting that fight,” Cerrone said post-fight (via Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “I couldn’t find it, back in the locker room I didn’t want to warm up. I didn’t want to get ready, I didn’t want to hit pads, I didn’t want to wrestle. I didn’t want to fight until the second round. People always say I’m a slow starter and, ‘What Cowboy are you going to get?’ And we train hard, we train so hard and we try and find for our opponents to beat us so that we can show up and beat them on our worst day. And today was my worst day.
“Thank God it’s been 41 fights in Zuffa that I’ve been here because I was able to, like, fake it ‘til you make it, ‘cause you fake it long enough and you find it. In the second round it was like, there it is and let’s go to work. It’s just tough, because I think the younger me would have quit. It’s just crazy, there’s like memes out there of lions with little cubs saying, ‘I would have quit until I realized who was watching’ and it was like, yeah, motherf*cker, let’s go.”
“The Cowboy you get is a crapshoot,” Cerrone added. “If it was Al, he had my number, he should have just f*ckin’ turned it on in the first round because I was lost. I don’t know where I was, but I wasn’t in the fight.”
With the win, Cerrone called out former UFC featherweight and lightweight champ Conor McGregor for a fight in July. Cerrone and McGregor were in talks for a fight earlier this year, but ‘The Notorious’ is reported to have snubbed the offer due to the UFC wanting him to fight in the co-main event.