In December, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone told Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen that he planned to return to the division in which he had competed for his entire career up until 2016.
“I’m going back to 155[lbs],” Cerrone told Schaub and Callen during an appearance on their podcast, The Fighter and The Kid. “I’m only 175. I’ve been waking up at 175 every day, so it’s like, ‘Pffft, I’m fine.’ I’m more focused. At 170, I can just not train and (expletive) off. I put more into it at 155, so let’s do it. Let’s have a couple more fights.”
Cerrone moved from 155lbs to 170lbs just a few months after he was destroyed in 66 seconds by then UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in the embers of 2015. He got off to a great start at welterweight, scoring four consecutive victories in 2016, all inside the distance. He subsequently went on a three-fight skid, however, losing to Jorge Masvidal, Robbie Lawler and Darren Till in 2017. Cerrone’s chat with Schaub and Callen came just a few weeks after he had been finished by Till inside a round in the main event of UFC Gdansk. In against the Englishman, a massive welterweight, Cerrone had looked terribly undersized and his decision to move back down was entirely understandable under the circumstances.
When the UFC offered Cerrone a welterweight scrap with Yancy Medeiros in the main event of UFC Austin, however, he couldn’t resist sticking around at 170lbs a little longer.
On Sunday, Cerrone brought an end to his rocky run, finishing Medeiros with just two seconds remaining in the first round, but in a subsequent interview with Fox Sports 1, the 34-year-old veteran said that he still believes his future is down at lightweight.
“I want [155lbs], I want to go get that belt,” Cerrone said. “Khabib [Nurmagomedov], I’m coming baby. I’m coming. I ain’t scared to fight you.”
At present, Nurmagomedov isn’t the champion down at lightweight, but he could well be after April 7th. The Russian faces interim titlist Tony Ferguson that night in the main event of UFC 223. With the UFC threatening on several occasions recently to strip champion Conor McGregor on account of his inactivity, the winner of that fight may be declared undisputed champ.
“These big old boys [at welterweight] hit hard and they’re a lot bigger, man” Cerrone added when asked by FS1 reporter Megan Olivi why he wants to return to 155lbs. “Like I woke up at 168 [on Saturday morning] and made weight easy.”
Cerrone went on to suggest that his promoters add a new 165-pound weight class, one of the weight classes which the Association of Boxing Commissions unanimously voted to add to the Unified Rules of MMA last year, but which the UFC has shown no interest in adopting.
Though he prefers the idea of campaigning at lightweight than welterweight going forward, Cerrone is known for his hyperactivity and he conceded that if he receives a call about another tussle at 170lbs, he’ll probably take that too.
“I’ll just fight whatever they tell me,” he said. “They’ll call me and tell me ‘We need you at 170’ and I’ll be like, ‘OK.'”
“I’ll take any fight,” he added when asked if he would take a catchweight fight. “They all pay the same to me, so it don’t matter what it is.”
You can watch the entire interview with Cerrone below…
"I want 155, I want that belt. @TeamKhabib, I'm coming. I ain't scared to fight…"
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) February 19, 2018