Donald Cerrone will meet lightweight prospect Alexander Hernandez at UFC on ESPN+ 1 next month but it’s easy to see that “Cowboy” still has his sights firmly set on a future clash with Conor McGregor.
Rumours of a bout between two of the sports biggest names began to swirl following Cerrone’s submission victory over Mike Perry when Cowboy mentioned that the UFC had a big name lined up for his return to lightweight.
Dana White played down the potential matchup and Cerrone was then booked to face the streaking Hernandez next month but despite this, the winningest fighter in UFC history still feels that a bout between the two could eventually happen down the road.
Cerrone, however, was keen to outline that he is certainly not making the mistake of overlooking his upcoming opponent Hernandez who is 10-1.
“I think [McGregor’s] side is interested in it, I know I’m very interested, and for the UFC, that’s a money fight,” Cerrone told ESPN. “By no means am I overlooking Alex. I’m focused on getting through him, and Conor is potentially what’s next.
“I don’t see why he would turn the fight down. I’m interested to see how it all plays out. I’m pretty sure Conor and I will be meeting in the Octagon soon.”
The 35-year old also outlined that after the Hernandez fight, should he win, he’s going to start “picking and choosing” his opponents on his way to getting another shot at the 155lb title.
“This first fight is about getting back into the rankings, but from that point on, we’re going to have to sit and choose opponents,” Cerrone said. “Because getting all the way to the front door, only to have the guys ahead of you say they want to wait, so you give an up-and-comer a shot at your position — I’d just be turning myself into a gatekeeper, which is not what I want.
”It’s time to get that belt. It’s the last thing I need for my legacy. So I plan on doing that, and doing whatever it takes to get there.”