On The Spot ~ Donald Cerrone
posted by Brent Todd
Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While in high school he trained Mauy Thai. The rodeo loving rancher went on to have an undefeated record of 28-0-1 as a kickboxer before competing in mixed martial arts. He was featured on season two of the reality series "TapouT" where he quickly became one of the more marketable fighters in the cast. His popularity has grown as he has climbed up the ladder in WEC, so much so that when he lost his recent lightweight title bout with Jamie Varner, the crowd booed loudly, although the judge's scores clearly had the champion winning the fight.
Training at the famed Greg Jackson Academy, and with such stars as good friend Leonard Garcia, Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Nate Marquart, and Georges St. Pierre, Ceronne is ready to get back on the bull, and try roping in another shot at Varner.
Cerrone was originally scheduled to fight Rich Crunkilton at "WEC 41: Brown vs Faber 2" however Crunkilton had to with draw from the fight due to an undisclosed injury. Now Cerrone will be taking on James Krause on June 7 at the ARCO Arena. I recently got to sit down with Cerrone and found out how is training camp is going, what he thinks of the 155lb division, and what he does in his free time.
BT: How are things going? How's the training going for your upcoming fight?
CC: It's fucking hot out here.Things are going well. It's going really good. Got about ten people here at the house just pumping and grinding.
BT: Thoughts on your opponent James Krause?
CC: I really don't know too much about him, as he is a replacement. I know he hasn't fought anyone as tough. Good to see how he does in the big show.
BT: Anyone specific you want to fight after Krause?
CC: I'm still in line for Jamie Varner. God willing.
BT: Do you think the judges robbed you of a victory against Varner?
CC: No. I think I didn't come out the first couple rounds and fight my fight. I just laid there real passive in my guard. He definitely got the win.
BT: Which fight was your favorite fight?
CC: Rob McCullough
BT: Which fight did you learn the most from?
CC: Rob. But I also learned a lot from the Varner fight. You learn more when you lose because when you are winning you think you can do the same thing. But then when you lose, you realize you have to do something different.
BT: How did you get into MMA?
CC: I started in kickboxing and a promoter said, "Hey want to fight a purple belt for 5 G's?" So I said, "5 G's? Sounds great!"
BT: So if you have a pedigree, so to speak, in striking, is there a reason most of your fights have ended via a submission?
CC: That's just because everyone knows they are fighting a real striker and want to take me down.
BT: Who's been the most influential person on your career?
CC: Greg Jackson has been helping me out. Leonard Garcia is my best friend and training partner.
BT: What's it like training at Greg Jackson's camp?
CC: It's amazing. Walk in every day and there's like 50 people in the training. Good energy all day, everyday.
BT: Obviously, as a fighter you have to be a fan of the sport. What do you look for in fights as a fan?
CC: I'm not a fan, that's the thing. I don't watch it. I only watch when our teammates are fighting. I got too much other stuff I like to do.
BT: What do you think of the Penn vs Florian fight coming up?
CC: I think Penn is going to sub Florian. I think KenFlo is good, but is weak minded. Especially with B.J. coming off a loss to GSP, he doesn't want to be embarrassed again.
BT: Speaking of UFC guys, how do you think you rank amongst the guys in the UFC and are there any discussions about moving you from the WEC to the UFC?
CC: I'd like to think I rank up there in the top, but I'm not there yet, so I just gotta keep my head down and keep driving forward. As for going to the UFC, I still have 2 fights left on my contract, hopefully Varner after this one, so we will see where I am when the time comes.
Moving away from fighting questions...
BT: What do you do in your down time? Any hobbies?
CC: Hunt, shoot, golf, rock climbing, any thing outdoors we do it. We have a wild bunch. We love shifter cars, those are go carts where they put a dirt bike engine in and you can shift gears. They go about 100+ mph in the track. They aren't like a regular go kart they are the real deal.
BT: Do you have any funny stories about either training or you and your camp you can share with us?
CC: Yeah, last week my buddy from England Downs was out and we were playing golf. He goes to tee off, and suddenly there's a ball in the middle of my back. I wasn't standing in front of him or anything, it's like a crazy slice from Caddyshack.
Also Dale Hart is out here training with Joe Daddy and we flipped a cart. That was cool.
BT: Are you a real cowboy or do you just wear a hat?
CC: Right now I am definitely not. I live in the city. There's nothing cowboy about me. But later on in life I plan to move back out to a ranch like I did when I was growing up.
BT: What's your favorite breakfast cereal?
CC: Fruity Pebbles.
BT: Any sponsors you want to thank?
CC: Just my training partners, Greg Jackson, and would love to give Tapout a shout