Donald Cerrone and Mike Perry square off in an intriguing fight this Saturday night in Denver at UFC Fight Night 139, with much of the pre-fight talk focused on Cerrone’s much-publicized exit from his longtime gym, Jackson-Wink MMA.
The apparent crux of the falling-out was co-owner and coach Mike Winkeljohn’s decision to corner Perry in their fight only months after joinig the gym. Cerrone has been vocal about his dislike of Winkeljohn ever since leaving to focus training at his own BMF Ranch, also located in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. Cowboy’s departure led to something of a schism at Jackson-Wink, with several longtime team members leaving to join BMF Ranch with Cerrone, and acrimony between them and those who chose to stay.
The 35 year-old fielded questions from reporters at Thursday’s UFC Denver media day and quickly shut down any hypotheticals about the matchup happening if he was still at the gym.
“This fight’s happening,” Cerrone said. “You mean, in terms of where I could still be at the gym and where this never would have happened? ... It happened, it didn’t, and Winkeljohn drew his line in the sand. And now I get to spit on him on the other side. It’s alright.”
Cerrone didn’t hold back of his honest assessment of Winkeljohn after the falling out between the pair.
“F*ck him,” Cerrone said. “There’s your clickbait, motherf*ckers. F*ck you, Winkeljohn.”
Perry has been the proverbial meat in the sandwich in this feud between Cerrone and Winkeljohn although “Cowboy” says he holds no ill will towards “Platinum” and come Saturday night he will be 100-percent focused on his opponent.
“My fight’s with Perry. It has nothing to do with Wink,” Cerrone said. “That’s outside drama; it won’t even come into play on Saturday. Right now you’re bringing this out of me. I’ll see [Winkeljohn] Saturday, but my opponent is Perry. Perry has nothing to do with the drama going on or any of that.”
As a Colorado native, Cerrone is relishing the fact he gets to fight in front of his friends and family in what will be his 40th fight under the World Extreme Cagefighting and Ultimate Fighting Championship promotions.
“On such a historic night, this is the 25th anniversary,” Cerrone said. “It’s cool man, it means a lot to me to be on this card. They don’t get any easier. This is your 40th walk, you’re going to be cruising down, you’d think it’s going to be easier. Nah, you’re still going to be sweating bullets, faking it until you’re making it. That’s for damn sure.”