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Donald Cerrone on Cowboy vs. Cowboy battle: 'I’m hoping to knock his ass out'

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Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

The plan for Donald Cerrone is the same as always: There is no plan.

Taking on Alex Oliveira Sunday at UFC Fight Night 83 in Pittsburgh, Cerrone finds himself in new territory, fighting 15 pounds north of his usual home in the lightweight division.  While this upcoming matchup marks his welterweight debut, Cerrone says he's not opposed to sticking around – nor would he shun a return to 155. In typical Cerrone fashion, he plans to simply take – or make – opportunities as they come.

"I’m going to sit on the fence, just go back and forth [between 170 and 155] wherever they need me," Cerrone said Friday at the UFC Fight Night 83 open workouts at Stout Training Center in Pittsburgh's Strip District. "It’s going to be a good time. These fights, to me, are awesome. I’m not on an eight-fight winning streak. I’m not worried about a title. I just go have fun. This fight is tailor-made for me, another stand-up guy who wants to go throw down. I have nothing to worry about, go make some money. Hell yeah."

While he's comfortable at welterweight or lightweight, the 32-year-old Cerrone did mention some perks of fighting in the heavier division.

"I’m [1]75 right now, and I had baby back ribs at TGI Fridays last night with mashed potatoes," Cerrone said. "It’s [the weight is] easy. It’s no problem. I don’t get much over [1]80 ever. I love it. I can eat, drink, whatever I want. You can see that I’m sweating. Normally I’m sucked up, looking like a concentration [camp] kid. It’s good."

Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone gets loose with @sixgungibson at the #UFCPittsburgh open workouts.

A video posted by Hunter A. Homistek (@hunterahomistek) on

Cerrone was originally set to fight Tim Means at the event. In early February, however, Means was pulled from the card following a failed drug test. Oliveira stepped in, and the main event was saved.

To Cerrone, Oliveira's willingness to step up on short notice carries some weight. As one of the most active fighters on the UFC's roster, Cerrone appreciates Oliveira's mentality going in, and he gives respect where it's due.

"It was very noble of him to step up and take this fight on short notice, you know, not too many other dudes do that," Cerrone said. "So my hat’s off to the son of a b---h for sure."

Thankfully for Cerrone and his game plan, both Oliveira and Means are stand-up oriented fighters, so the expectations going in remain the same.

"I think this fight’s going to be a stand-up fight," Cerrone said. "I heard that maybe he wants to take me down [but] that’s a bad idea on his part. I’m hoping to knock his ass out. That’s what I want. That’s what everyone wants to see."

In typical Cowboy Cerrone fashion, there's already a potential fight on the horizon, too. Cerrone said he's eyeballing April 16's UFC on Fox 19 event in Tampa, Fla., expecting a short-notice call to work in his favor.

"I’m going to call the UFC after this and tell them the Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and [Tony] Ferguson fight, I’ll be ready for it when Khabib pulls out," Cerrone said.

Another matchup on Cerrone's radar is the upcoming lightweight title fight between Conor McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos at March 5's UFC 196 event. Cerrone, who lost to dos Anjos via first-round TKO in his most recent outing, has split feelings on this particular scrap.

"McGregor and dos Anjos, I really hope dos Anjos beats his ass, but then I really hope McGregor wins so then I can go back and slap his ass up and get that money fight," Cerrone said. "That’s what all this is about."