Donald Cerrone didn’t hesitate to accept a short-notice bout vs. Benson Henderson. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Donald Cerrone was determined to ensure he had another fight secured before he left Las Vegas after his win over Myles Jury at UFC 182.
Nobody thought it would come along this quickly.
As reported yesterday, Cerrone replaced Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event against Benson Henderson at UFC Fight Night "McGregor vs. Siver" on Jan. 18. The event is less than two weeks away and against an opponent that has already defeated “Cowboy” twice. Not surprisingly, Cerrone doesn’t care.
“Prepare? I don’t have enough time to prepare a cake,” Cerrone quipped on a conference call discussing the extraordinarily quick turnaround. “I’m just going in there to fight. I have enough time to cut weight and get to Boston. There will be no game plan. It’s just a fight.”
It may be just a fight to Cerrone, but to others, facing somebody the caliber of Henderson, the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, is something most would prefer to have several months to prepare for rather than several days. But the matchup didn’t necessarily matter to Cerrone as long as he was fighting somebody. It wasn’t his plan to fight Henderson; it just happened that way after Cerrone “begged and pleaded” for another opponent. It didn’t matter who, when or where.
“It was a ‘We’ll let you know in a couple of days’ kind of answer originally when I asked for a fight,” said Cerrone, who spoke to UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta on the Sunday following UFC 182. “I had no idea Alvarez was injured or Henderson was an option. I was driving home when Dana White called and said, ‘I don’t really want you to take this fight but I have an opportunity for you.’”
When the offer was revealed, the words “F--k yeah, I’ll take it!” flew out of Cerrone’s mouth with little regard to preparation. Cerrone says that he didn’t consult his team, family or friends about whether it would be a good idea to take the fight. He simply said yes and plans on taking his RV across the country to Boston for his third fight with Henderson.
Did his losses to Henderson play any factor in the decision? Not really. If Cerrone had been asked to bump up to welterweight to face Matt Brown, he would have taken that too. That’s just the kind of guy he is. But given the fact it is Henderson, he is admittedly motivated to avenge those defeats.
“Those fights were years ago,” Cerrone said. “I wouldn’t take this fight if I didn’t think I could beat him. I plan on going in there next Sunday and whipping the s--t out of him. That’s just how I feel.”