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Morning Report: 'New and improved Cowboy,' Donald Cerrone wants Anthony Pettis after he beats Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rafael Dos Anjos

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After watching No. 1 contender Rafael dos Anjos take the title off now former champion Anthony Pettis over five punishing rounds, Donald Cerrone sounded as impressed as anyone with UFC 185's main event.

"Unbelievable," Cerrone said post-fight. "I'm very impressed. [Dos Anjos] did a very good job of not letting Pettis get his rhythm and stand in the middle of the cage and throw his kicks. [Dos Anjos] kept [Pettis] against the cage and got him thinking punch, punch, punch and then shooting for the takedown. Then he secured and held while he was down. It was good."

Two of Cerrone's three losses in the UFC came at the hands of Dos Anjos and Pettis, but even he didn't expect that sort of showing from either man.

"Not at all," said Cerrone. "I was more expecting Anthony to do what he does, kick and play. I think [Dos Anjos] caught Anthony off guard, too."

Cerrone is set to face Khabib Nurmagomedov May 23 at UFC 187. UFC president Dana White confirmed Saturday night that the winner would be next to challenge for the lightweight title.

Hopeful for a rematch of their bout at UFC on FOX 6, Cerrone doesn't seem to mind that some luster may have been knocked off Pettis.

"I'm never opposed to fighting anybody," Cerrone said of fighting Pettis again. "Fighting, beating [Khabib Nurmagomedov], Dos Anjos, then tell Pettis to come on. Come on with it. That's the new and improved Cowboy. I'm coming for the f***ing belt."

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Post Show. Ariel Helwani and Shaun Al-Shatti break down the top storylines coming out of UFC 185.

Aftermath. Dave Doyle recaps all the happenings at UFC 185.

'No excuses.' Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis says he couldn't see out his right eye for bulk of his fight with Rafael dos Anjos. 'It closed up on me, I didn't have any peripheral [vision].'

‘I didn't love it.' Dana White wasn't a big fan of former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks' win over Matt Brown at UFC 185.

'The Last Man to Beat Conor McGregor.' Joseph Duffy talks about managing nerves before UFC 185, being able to pick apart Jake Lindsey on the feet, training at Tristar Gym, being mentioned with Conor McGregor, a possible drop to featherweight, and more.

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MEDIA STEW

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Octagon interviews with Dos Anjos, Pettis, Jedrzejczyk and Esparza.

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Highlights from Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael dos Anjos and Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

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UFC 185 post-fight presser highlights. (Full presser here)

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Dana White talks Dos Anjos' dominance, Jedrzejczyk big win, Overeem and Nelson's toughness.

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Fedor Emelianenko out teaching seminars in the UAE.

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Randy Couture talks Laila Ali vs. Ronda Rousey.

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Long watches.

Donald Cerrone UFC 185 Q&A session

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Mark Coleman: His Health, Career, Fedor PED accusations, Ronda Rousey vs Men #SaveTheHammer

...

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TWEETS

See how the pros reacted to all the action from UFC 185.

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Victory lap.

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Better luck next time.

Oh people, the happened was that she broke my arm with a shot, and it could no longer fight, I would have rather left unconscious with his face blown off all of that, but fight is fight and I just beginning to this life of MMA, which is speaking ill will, or rises in the Octagon and do best. Thank God there are wonderful people who nonetheless are always on my side, thank you for everyone's support, but you motivate me more and more, love you all, thank you from the heart, never give up!

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Nice.

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Get well soon.

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Eatin'.

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Beef.

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World tour.

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Finally made it.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced this weekend (March 13-15 2015)

Juliana Lima vs. Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night: Goiania

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via MMAtylander.

Instead of Forcing "Showtime" onto the UFC Lightweight Division, Pettis Becomes its Latest Victim

Ever since its inception in 2001, the UFC Lightweight Championship has been chased by some of the best fighters on the planet. From Lil Evil Jens Pulver, the first to gain what was initially known as the UFC Bantamweight Championship, to Rafael Dos Anjos, its newest and current owner, some of the UFC's most well known and beloved combatants have struggled and strived, scratched and clawed, and succeeded and failed, to lay claim to the 155 lbs strap.

After a rough start that saw it's belt sit idle from January of 2002 to October of 2006, the division and its championship's history has evolved into a rich one, full of classic moments and shocking occurrences that have assisted in making the class one of he most exciting and popular divisions in the sport. Currently filled with top tier talent, Lightweight is considered to be one of the deepest, if not THE deepest, divisions in MMA, and fans regularly look to it to deliver the best fight on an individual card and sometimes even the best fight of the year. This reputation is well earned, as 155 lbs appears to be the weight class with the almost perfect combination of speed, power, and technique when it comes to MMA competition.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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