DALLAS -- Khabib Nurmagomedov has to be feeling pretty good about his English skills today. The undefeated Dagestani meets Donald Cerrone in a lightweight bout on May 23 at UFC 187, and there's rarely a morning that goes by without "Cowboy" having to scroll past a barrage of trash talk whenever he loads up his Twitter timeline.
"I will give Khabib everything I got, I promise that," Cerrone said at UFC 185's fan Q&A. "I will leave nothing in the f**king cage, The (Benson) Henderson fight, I left a lot out there. But I plan on getting Khabib. He's really getting under my skin. He's doing a good job talking s**t on Twitter and trying to get under me, and it's working. So I'm stocking that up and I'm going to come f**king unglued."
Cerrone said he's been shoring up his wrestling in advance of the bout, anticipating the onslaught of the man who holds the record for takedowns in a single UFC fight. Both lightweights are riding tremendous waves of momentum as the date approaches, with Cerrone's seven-fight win streak matched against Nurmagomedov's unbeaten 22-0 record.
UFC President Dana White this week confirmed that the winner will earn the next ticket to challenge for the 155-pound title, which is being contested Saturday between Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185. Cerrone has a history with both champion and challenger, having lost to both men two years ago. But if he had his pick of rematches, he'd prefer to redeem himself for the two-minute destruction he suffered at the hands of Pettis.
"I have no excuses for the fight between Anthony and I, but I feel like I'm kinda on a new rhythm, I'm on a new roll," Cerrone said. "I'm back to having fun, drinking beer and eating fruit roll-ups, so I don't know what my approach to fighting Anthony again will be other than just coming unglued and letting him have it.
"I'm going to have to stop the hype, that's what I'm going to have to do," he later added. "So I don't know. That's all I know how to do. I don't know how to back down. I'm going to stare straight at him, he's probably going to kick me in the f**king liver again, which goes back to the drinking beers. I should probably cut that out before."
If you know anything about Cerrone, you know he's not one to keep a low profile while he waits for his date to dance. So considering all the recent chatter about Ronda Rousey's chances against a well-trained man, Cerrone said he couldn't help but issue his own personal challenge when the opportunity arose during recent night out with the UFC women's bantamweight champion.
"I told Ronda, ‘I'm a man. There's no way you will ever armbar me. You will never beat me in a fight.'" Cerrone said with a grin. "So I tell her this at the gym, and she straight looks me in the eyes, says, ‘They got gear right there.' And I was like, you bad motherf**ker! It was cool. Like, as real as could be, ‘they got gear right there.' Yes! Come on."