Donald Cerrone isn't kidding when he says he likes confrontation.
Since joining the UFC in 2011, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone has built a reputation as one of the most fearless fighters in MMA, becoming a fan favorite based on his willingness to fight anyone, anywhere, anytime. Whenever a lightweight withdraws from a scheduled bout Cerrone can usually be found volunteering to step in with his now customary response, "I know a guy." But it seems this willingness to throw down isn't confined only to the lightweight division.
On the most recent episode of Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen's "The Fighter and the Kid" podcast Cerrone spoke about his penchant for confrontation and the time he and Jon Jones almost got into a fight. In the interview, Callen asks Cerrone a question about Jones's unwillingness to embrace his inner heel and whether that affects his performance but then quickly says that he doesn't want to put Cerrone on the spot. Cerrone replies:
"I don't give a f*ck. Jon can come and talk to me. We have plenty of disputes all the time, him and I... We almost had at it, him and I. At Jackson's. I spoke - this is before all the wild Jon came out - and I spoke about him being wild and he was like 'what the f*ck, you putting me out like that?' and I was like 'what's up motherf*cker?' But that's behind the scenes.
"What happened was all the UFC cameras were there that day and I came at Jon like, 'what's up?' And he comes at me and goes, ‘Cowboy' and puts his God hat on and got to work. He just said 'Cowboy, I just don't understand, I'm so nice to you, all I do is try to help you and this is how you treat me, this is how you want to come at me?' And I remember pointing at him like 'you motherf*cker.'"
The "God hat" comment is indicative of a feeling many MMA fans have had for years about Jones: that he is too aware of his own brand and that his true persona is very different than the one he portrays to the public. The now famous interview where Jones was unaware the cameras were rolling and he threatened to kill Daniel Cormier gave many fans all the proof they needed of this duplicity and since then many have called for Jones to be himself and publicly embrace every aspect of his personality. It seems Cerrone is among them.
"I wish he would just be Jon. Let everyone know, 'I go out, I party, I have a good time but you know what? I'm still the champ.'"
As far as how the altercation ended, Cerrone says that eventually everything cooled off and no blows were actually struck. The two have long moved past the incident.
"We're cool now. Jon and I are cool now. We hang out and we're over all that."
That's a good thing for Cerrone. As good a fighter as he is, Cerrone is still a natural lightweight and Jon Jones is arguably the baddest man on the planet. Still his willingness to go back at Jones is impressive.
I guess when Cowboy says he'll fight anyone, anytime, anywhere he really means it.
You can listen to the entire interview below where Cerrone also talks about Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, andthe UFC-Reebok deal.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Re-up. UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson signs a new eight-fight contract with the UFC.
I bet. Former Bellator champion Will Brooks says he regrets the "negative reputation" he built on Twitter.
Nate Diaz. Junior dos Santos says he wasn't surprised by the main event of UFC 198 because Werdum is "not a striker."
Nah. Amanda Nunes says Ronda Rousey is "no big deal" and believes she would win if they fought.
Prospect. Bellator prospect Darrion Caldwell signs a seven-fight contract extension with the promotion.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Cyborg. Patrick Wyman and Steven Rondina of Bleacher Report discuss Cris "Cyborg" Justino, where she fits into the UFC and potential opponents.
The new champ arriving back home and moved to tears.
Faber mic'ed up during the Cruz-Dillashaw fight.
Luke Thomas with the Monday Morning Analyst. Learn some things about technique y'all.
Maia's jiu-jitsu. So sneaky.
Behind the scenes from BAMMA 25.
I wish he'd get back to the part where he stops all the people he fights.
McCall seemed to verify this is true. That's awesome.
Exactly what MMA fans want, fighter's who don't talk at all.
This is a fake Sage Northcutt account but it fooled the hell out of some people and even got Paige to retweet it.
@PaigeVanzantUFC that bed looks familiar— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthhcutt) May 17, 2016
You don't think about it often but Jake Shields is arguably the second best welterweight of all time.
Imagine if someone had beaten Carlos Condit, Demian Maia, Tryon Woodley and Robbie Lawler?pic.twitter.com/QxCAcjqXND— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) May 16, 2016
All baseball players should watch Saturday's Ufc title fight, nothing good ever comes from charging forward w your hands down.— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) May 16, 2016
I love Derrick Lewis.
Ninja ish pic.twitter.com/kswvJlsOiV— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) May 16, 2016
Love that Matt Brown chose a pic with Demian Maia with his eyes closed.
I've finally made it back to the US alive and well! Wasn't sure if that was going to happen but here I am! Once more thanks to @demian_maia for the lesson in BJJ and thanks to Brazil for making the weekend exciting! Even though I lost I feel one step closer to being the best fighter I can be. I am not going to stop grinding for that gold and I will not let this slow me down even a little bit. I'm just getting started my friends.
We made it back to the land! First, I want to thank everyone that supported me! You have no idea what that means to me! Words can't express how I feel... From the moment I got off the plane and the United flight crew and fans were waiting at the gate to the people at the baggage claim... then going to Strongstyle and seeing my mom, family, friends and teammates cheering for me ( I did cry a lot )hahaha..This has been an amazing journey- but we are not done yet! We are just scratching the surface! I love you all and thank you for having my back! Also, a big shout out to THE LAND, for everyone I didn't see and had my back you are amazing!!!! I have one thing to say CLEVELAND AGAINST THE WORLD BABY!!!! The curse is done!!!! #ANDNEW #clevelandagainsttheworld #theland #clevelandtough
Brad Pickett coming with the sage advice.
Jonathan Brookins (15-7-0) vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari (20-6-4); Pancrase 279, July 24.
Yuki Yasunaga (14-8-1) vs. Ryuichi Miki (18-9-4); Pancrase 279, July 24.
Rin Nakai (16-2-1) vs. Emiko Raika (2-3-0); Pancrase 279, July 24.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1996: In what is widely regarded as the worst UFC fight of all time, Dan Severn won the UFC Superfight Championship at UFC 9: Motor City Madness, defeating Ken Shamrock via split decision. The bout is 30 minutes of circling and staring and if you have Fight Pass I strongly encourage you to watch literally anything else.
Also at the event came the lone UFC appearance of arguably the greatest wrestler ever to compete in MMA, Olympic gold medalist and world champion freestyle wrestler Mark Schultz. Finally, this event is also notable for being the first time the UFC did not use a tournament format but just had seven scheduled bouts. It was wildly unpopular and the organizaiton went back to tournaments at the next event.
2008: Number 6 ranked UFC light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux made his MMA debut, competing in two amateur bouts at King of the Cage: Reckless.
2012: Bellator MMA held their first ever Pay Per View event, Bellator 120. In the main event, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson won a questionable decision over Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. Also on the card, Will Brooks won the interim Bellator lightweight championship by defeating Michael Chandler via another very questionable decision, this time of the split variety.
1983: Bellator welterweight Paul Bradley
1982: Former UFC welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy
1980: UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem
1975: Bellator heavyweight Cheick Kongo
1970: Matt Lindland
Think I missed a spot? Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.