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Donald Cerrone: UFC allowing me to wear custom patch on shorts ‘meant more to me than anything’

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“They fined me, made a big deal out of it. Tonight, they were like, it’s where you want it, let’s go.”

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If you were paying close to attention to the UFC Fight Night 151 main event between Donald Cerrone and Al Iaquinta this past Saturday, you might have noticed ‘Cowboy’ donning a custom patch on his Reebok-kitted UFC shorts.

Cerrone, who thrashed Iaquinta enroute to a unanimous decision victory at the Canadian Tire Centre, was previously fined by the UFC for wearing the same custom patch (a cutout of his old muay thai shorts featuring the American flag) in 2015, but this time, almost four years later, the premiere fight promotion actually encouraged Cerrone to wear it.

“They did that,” Cerrone said, speaking to the media backstage at UFC Ottawa, per MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee. “This isn’t me, this isn’t Cowboy being sneaky. They asked me where I wanted it and I said, ‘Right down my f*cking leg, man.’

“They’re like, ‘Really?’

“And I said, ‘Yeah.’

“And they said, ‘Alright.’

“I was like, ‘F*ck yeah, finally. Cool.’ It meant something to me. I was like, yeah, finally the old guy finally gets—hell yeah!”

Cerrone’s custom shorts were in dedication to his grandmother, who was in attendance on Saturday night to watch her grandson beat ‘Raging’ Al, and the MMA veteran says wearing them meant more to him than winning the fight and extending his record for the most Fight of the Night bonuses in UFC history (17).

“To be honest, the winning and setting records, this meant more to me than anything,” Cerrone said. “Having the company that took it from me come back and say, ‘You know, where do you want it? Let’s go.’ They fined me, made a big deal out of it. Tonight, they were like, it’s where you want it, let’s go.”

Following Cerrone’s victory over Iaquinta, perhaps his biggest win in the last three years, Cerrone called out Conor McGregor for a fight in July. Expect Cerrone to surge into the top-five once the UFC updates its lightweight rankings.