For a second consecutive time, the intended Donald Cerrone-Joe Lauzon clash failed to materialize. “Cowboy” pulled out for their first booking for UFC 274 in May due to an unspecified illness, while Lauzon withdrew at the last minute for their scheduled fight at UFC Austin this past weekend due to a knee injury.
They say the third time’s a charm, but not for UFC president Dana White, who compared the situation to their five failed attempts at booking the Khabib Nurmagomedov-Tony Ferguson title fight.
Lauzon, however, isn’t buying it.
"For me right now, it's Cowboy or bust."— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) June 22, 2022
Is the door shut on booking the Donald Cerrone fight a third time? @JoeLauzon doesn't think so.
⬇️ Joe talks 'freak' knee injury at #UFCAustin, the fallout from it & more with @jimmysmithmma!https://t.co/7Vp9Qab56z pic.twitter.com/2L84yYLejc
“Reddit loves to give Dana a hard time. They go, ‘Don’t believe his lies,’” Lauzon told Jimmy Smith on MMA on Sirius XM. “I just kind of want to drop that line, don’t believe his lies.
“If Cowboy and I both want to fight, I think the UFC would make it. Dana said he wouldn’t make it a third time, I think they would.”
Cerrone did express interest in fighting Lauzon despite the cancellations, and the feelings are mutual. But for Lauzon, it’s the only matchup to make at the moment.
“I definitely want this fight now. We spent too much time getting ready for Cowboy to go and see it through. For me, right now, it’s Cowboy or bust. If he’s interested in it, then it’s Cowboy or bust,” he said.
“That’s the fight I want, I think that’s the fight he wants. I understand that it sucks the way it’s worked out. I’m sure Dana’s unhappy about how it worked out, right? But I promise, that Cowboy and I are way more upset and way more bummed out about it, and put in way more effort than the UFC has.”
For Lauzon, the circumstances surrounding their withdrawals should be considered.
“I understand, but I think it should still happen. I think just because it didn’t work out the first two times, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work out the third time. They’re completely unrelated things, completely random, freak things,” he explained.
“Cowboy getting sick, never happened before. My knee popping out and getting locked up like that, never happened before. Just completely freak things. It’s not like Cowboy twice or me twice, or whatever. It’s 1-1.”
The 38-year-old Lauzon (28-15) hasn’t fought since his first-round TKO win over Jonathan Pearce in October 2019. As for the 39-year-old Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC), he’s on a five-fight losing streak and hasn’t fought since his first-round TKO loss to Alex Morono in May 2021.