LAS VEGAS --Though Donald Cerrone was hanging around Vegas before his title with Raphael dos Anjos, he wasn’t exactly scoping the talent. Nor was he hearing any footsteps from Tony Ferguson, who made a big statement at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale with his victory over Edson Barboza.
That statement was that there’s a new lightweight contender to be reckoned with. Potentially for Cerrone, should he get past Dos Anjos in Orlando, Florida on December 19.
Cerrone was at the Cosmo on Friday night wearing a Denver Broncos Christmas sweater and his trademark cowboy hat, yet he had to leave before Ferguson put on one of the great performances of 2015. If everybody was buzzing after Ferguson’s performance, Cerrone was blissfully unaware.
"Well, if I’m going to be a thousand percent honest with you, if you lined six people up there with Ferguson I’d have no idea who he was," he said at a media day this past Saturday. "That’s nothing against him. I just don’t watch fighting. I just live. I just do me. Of course, I know Edson Barboza and RDA, because those are guys I fought. But I don’t know him. It’s not a disrespectful thing like I don’t know who you are, it’s just…I didn’t stay for the fight.
"I know the name, I know of course his name. I just couldn’t pick him out of a line-up. I don’t know his fighting style, never seen him fight."
Cerrone will get the chance to bring another title back to Albuquerque, where he’s trained with coaches Mike Winkeljohn and Greg Jackson for many years. Should he do it, he’d join Holly Holm and Jon Jones as champions who represent Jackson-Wink. Two weeks later, at UFC 195, his teammate Carlos Condit will get a chance for yet another one when he faces Robbie Lawler for the middleweight title.
Cerrone has won eight straight fights heading into his rematch with Dos Anjos, who just happens to be the last man to have beaten him. That happened a little over two years ago at UFC Fight Night 27 in Indianapolis. It’s been an improbable run for the 32-year old to get back into contention.
When talking about what having four championship belts under one roof might mean, Cerrone said it would be a historical new level of greatness.
"I mean, if we bring home four belts, I think that would be the first time there will have been four belts in one house, right?" he said. "I’m next. So let’s keep this f*cker rolling."