OTTAWA, ON – When he steps into the octagon on Saturday night, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will be fighting with renewed vigour and a determination to achieve a milestone that has eluded him to this point in his career.
Cerrone will headline this Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship card at the Canadian Tire Centre, here in the nation’s capitol, against the No. 4 ranked lightweight (155 lbs) fighter, Al Iaquinta.
A win on Saturday would thrust the New Mexico native into the thick of title contention in a division that he has fought in just once since 2015, when he moved up to Welterweight (170 lbs).
“I’m just making my way back [to lightweight] and planning on going to get the belt. It’s time to secure my legacy,” said Cerrone, to reporters at UFC media day on Thursday. “I left 155 at number two. It’s not like I couldn’t hang anymore. I need to go get this belt.”
Saturday’s bout will mark the eighth-ranked Cerrone’s 42nd fight in the UFC or WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting), extending his record for most fights under the Zuffa promotional banner.
Despite spending more than a third of his life as a mixed martial artist, the 13-year veteran has never let the thought of retirement cross his mind.
“I don’t know if I’m ever going to walk out,” he said. “Literally, the UFC is going to have to say, ‘That’s enough, Cowboy, you can no longer walk out with a walker.’
“The whole experience to me, I love. I’m going to miss the s— out of it when I’m done but right now I’m in it and I love it.”
Cerrone endured the toughest stretch of his career between 2017 and 2018, losing four of five fights within an 18-month span.
Immediately following a disheartening loss to Leon Edwards in June 2018, Cerrone flew home to New Mexico where his wife Lindsay gave birth to their son, Dacson.
Since becoming a father, he has looked like the Cowboy of old, winning both of his fights in decisive fashion.
The 36-year old credits his career resurgence to his son, citing him as another reason to get back on the horse.
It’s so cliché to talk about ‘now you have something to fight for’. But man, it’s insane how you do. How [a child] gives you something to fight for,” said the winningest fighter in UFC history.
“It’s wild. It’s a totally different reason to fight. You have so much more reason to not quit and keep going and push through.”
Saturday will mark the fourth time Cerrone has fought in Canada, and the outspoken Cowboy is ready to remain unbeaten north of the border in front of a raucous Ottawa crowd.
“I want to go in there and have fun and do what I love,” said Cerrone. “Let’s blow the roof off this place. let’s go five rounds non-stop. I didn’t take a day off this camp. We’re really focused, we really trained hard.”