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Donald Cerrone will face grappling star Craig Jones in combat jiu-jitsu next month

Donald Cerrone (pictured, red gloves) applies an armbar on Mike Perry at UFC Denver on Nov. 10, 2018
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Donald Cerrone isn’t giving himself an easy challenge for his next fight.

“Cowboy” announced via his YouTube channel that his next appearance will see him face decorated grappling champion Craig Jones in a combat jiu-jitsu contest in Cancun, Mexico, on Dec. 19.

According to Cerrone, the match was set up when famed jiu-jitsu practitioner Eddie Bravo asked Joe Rogan for Cerrrone’s number, and Bravo reached out to Cerrone with the fight offer.

“Eddie Bravo called me,” Cerrone said (h/t Bloody Elbow). “He wants me to take a ‘superfight’ against hands down the baddest jiu-jitsu artist around right now. But it’s combat jiu-jitsu, so there’s palm striking.”

“It’s wrestling until you hit the ground, then it’s palm striking and jiu-jitsu,” he continued. “Which will be fun. Hopefully, I can negate a heel hook by palm striking the face, I don’t know.”

Cerrone, 38, is currently winless in his past six UFC appearances, a stretch that includes losses to Anthon Pettis, Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson. He most recently competed in May at a UFC Vegas event where he lost by first-round TKO to Alex Morono.

Of his 36 career MMA victories, Cerrone owns 17 finishes by submission. In the video, he says that he and Jones had previously rolled on one occasion ahead of The Ultimate Fighter 29 Finale (Jones served as an assistant to Alexander Volkanovski’s team on the show) in June.

Cerrone admitted that at the moment he’s looking forward to this jiu-jitsu contest than another UFC booking.

“Right now I am, sure,” Cerrone said. “It’s just different, changing it up. At this level, there’s no shortcuts so my last fight I’ve taken shortcuts and it just hasn’t ended well. I’m at an age of maturity in my training that I know what I have to do and what it takes to be the Cowboy that everyone wants to see fight.”

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