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‘You can’t stay with the same guys’ - Donald Cerrone gives advice to young MMA fighters

Donald Cerrone gives some words of wisdom for young fighters today.

Donald Cerrone accepts an award from UFC VP Jeff Novitzky in September.
Donald Cerrone accepts an award from UFC VP Jeff Novitzky in September.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

A UFC title may have eluded him, but Donald Cerrone remains to be one of today’s most respected veterans. A professional of 15 years and counting, “Cowboy” continues to compete at the sport’s biggest stage.

As someone who’s seen and experienced it all, the 38-year-old Cerrone has taken many younger fighters under his wing at his very own BMF Ranch in New Mexico. And as he sees a lot of them venture into the sport on a pro-level, he gave these pieces of advice in a recent YouTube video on his channel.

“Now we are in today’s world with MMA getting so big, you have to find a manager, find a coach, find somebody that has those outlets so that they can help you. ‘Hey, I know so and so, he runs this show, I can get you in.’ And then enough of those ins, get you to the next level, to the next level,” he said.

“And as you move up to the next levels, you have to keep elevating everything. Your managers, your training, your training partners, everything has to keep going.

“You can’t stay with the same guys. It doesn’t happen. It’s like trying to say I married my high school sweetheart. Sometimes, that works. But the person I am right now is so much different than the person I was then. And that happens as you get fame and success and everything as well.”

Fans also love Cerrone for his willingness to fight as often as possible. Except for 2021, he’s fought thrice in a calendar year. From 2014-2016 and 2019, he competed four times. He’s seemingly kept himself fight-ready at all times, and he encourages up-and-comers to do the same.

“I was the guy they’d call and I’d take a fight on two days’ notice, three days’ notice,” he said. “I was always the last-minute guy. All the time. Which is why I tell these kids, ‘You guys gotta be ready. ‘Cause, they’re gonna call.’

Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC) last appeared inside the UFC Octagon in May against Alex Morono, whom he lost to via first-round TKO. He last competed on December 19 against Craig Jones in a combat jiu-jitsu match and lost via rear-naked choke submission.