Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (17-3) is officially in the UFC. He’ll make his debut for the promotion this Saturday at UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort in Las Vegas when he takes on English fighter Paul Kelly.
Kelly (11-3) will be making his ninth appearance in the UFC, so he’s definitely earned his stripes in the Las Vegas-based promotion. It’s safe to assume that with eight fights in the Octagon, opponents will know who Paul Kelly is.
Apparently, not if you’re Donald Cerrone.
When the WEC veteran received the offer to fight Kelly, he admittedly didn’t know much about his opponent. Kelly might not have liked this fact very much, but Cerrone explained to MMAWeekly Radio that he meant no disrespect to him in any way, shape, or form. Having a lot going on is what Cerrone blames for not knowing more about his UFC 126 opponent.
“I never meant any disrespect to the guy, I just never heard of him,” Cerrone said. “Now, of course I’ve seen tape on him, I’ve studied him. I understand who he is.”
Not having knowledge about Kelly and his arsenal might not be a good thing. As a matter of fact, it’s downright dangerous to not know what the English mixed martial artist is capable of. Kelly has finished two of his last three opponents. First, he submitted Matt Veach at UFC 112 by guillotine choke, then after a tough decision loss to Jacob Volkmann in August, Kelly beat T.J. Brian by TKO at UFC 123.
Luckily for “Cowboy,” he’s done his homework. He’s watched the film on Kelly, and now, he knows exactly what kind of fight he’s getting into – one that promises some stand-up action.
“He’s got a good uppercut, great overhand, and good hooks,” said Cerrone. “He likes to be inside and brawl. If you want to go out and shoot, baby, let’s go! I’ve been looking for a stand-up fight this whole time.
“I’m really forward to throwing down, man. That’s what I love to do.”
Apart from his fight with Kelly, Cerrone has had some other beefs that have garnered the attention of the media. Of course, Cerrone’s open dislike of Cole Miller has been echoed through the blogs, forums, Twitter and other outlets for quite some time. The rivalry has boiled for years, yet the two have never had the opportunity to settle their differences.
Cerrone may have a fight on Saturday with a different competitor, but it’s clear that he doesn’t keep Miller far off from his cross hairs on a day to day basis. Any opportunity he gets, he tells Miller of his intentions.
“Every time I see him, I remind him. I’m coming for you, Cole. I’m coming for you, I’m coming for you,” said the lightweight fighter.
Not only is Cole Miller an issue, but recently, Mac Danzig called out Cerrone on Twitter, saying, “So, all you have to do to secure a fight you haven’t earned is wear a silly hat, call yourself ‘cowboy’ and talk trash? Seems strange.”
Cerrone explained that Danzig is hypocritical in doing this, and feels the TUF 6 winner won his last fight by a fluke. “Cowboy” held nothing back when defending his Jackson’s MMA teammate, Joe Stevenson.
“First of all, Danzig, you were on the chopping block and then you accidentally knocked out my teammate, Joe Stevenson. Now you want to do exactly what I did by calling Cole Miller out and you want to be a hypocrite. Come on, bro!”
These may seem like heavy distractions, but regardless, Donald Cerrone will get his chance to take out whatever frustration he has on Paul Kelly on Saturday night in Las Vegas.