Donald Cerrone is known for his dangerous activities outside of the Octagon.
As “Cowboy” prepared for his first UFC main event, he embraced those “side” projects to get himself prepared. It paid off, as Cerrone finished Jim Miller for his third win of 2014.
“Being able to get out there and start fast was something I was having issues with,” said Cerrone, on the FS1 post-fight show. “I did a lot of unconventional training for this fight, like sprinting, playing Ultimate Frisbee, wakeboarding, to get my mind right.”
Cerrone (24-6) has won four straight and five of his las six, including all four victories since a 2013 loss to Rafael dos Anjos ending early. He picked up another “Fight Night” bonus for his efforts Wednesday.
“As far as the finish, I kept going to his body, his body and then faked the body and went high,” Cerrone said. “He started favoring his side and I saw it and thank God it worked. I did a lot of sprints on the track and track work.”
Cerrone has always been about fighting as much as possible, and while he previously called for a bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov, he let it be known anybody – from 155 up to 170 – can step inside the Octagon with him next.
“Anybody, I don’t care,” Cerrone said. “All the UFC has to do is call me and say, ‘Cowboy, we need you here on this date,’ and I’ll say, ‘OK.’”
A second world title fight has been added to the UFC 177 lineup, as flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson meets Chris Cariaso.
Set for August 30 from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California, the main event boasts T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao for the bantamweight title.
UFC officials were forced to scrap a previous August pay-per-view, and they are loading up the second one now.
Johnson (20-2-1) has successfully defended his title four times since winning it in a tournament final vs. Joseph Benavidez. “Mighty Mouse” is 8-1-1 with the UFC, including two wins over Benavidez and victories vs. John Dodson and John Moraga.
He was expected to meet Dodson in a rematch, but the former Ultimate Fighter winner needs surgery to repair a torn ACL and will be sidelined until 2015.
Cariaso (17-5) has won six of 10 Octagon bouts and was originally booked for a meeting with Kyoji Horiguchi later this year. Cariaso holds wins over Takeya Mizugaki and Vaughan Lee, but was topped while competing at a bigger weight class against Barao and Michael McDonald.
The fight was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
Below is the current lineup:
UFC Bantamweight Championship
T.J. Dillashaw (c) vs. Renan Barao
UFC Flyweight Championship
Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Chris Cariaso
Middleweight: Derek Brunson vs. Lorenz Larkin
Female Bantamweight: Bethe Correia vs. Shayna Baszler
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo
Heavyweight: Anthony Hamilton vs. Ruan Potts
Lightweight: Ramsey Nijem vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Lightweight: Justin Edwards vs. Yancy Medeiros
Aljamain Sterling will try to keep the momentum going for the Serra-Longo Fight Team this Wednesday evening when he faces Hugo Viana at UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Miller.
Sterling (9-0) earned a victory over Cody Gibson in his Octagon debut earlier this year. Now, following a successful title defense by teammate Chris Weidman, and a victory for Eddie Gordon in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter, the 24-year-old sees this as a perfect time for the camp.
“The energy at the gym is at an all-time high,” said Sterling, during a recent interview with FightLine. “What can be better than that for us right now? An exciting title defense and the release of one of our juggernauts that finally got to show his true form during his TUF Finale win. It’s life-changing stuff and being around that only drives you more.”
Sterling, a native of New York, still can’t compete professionally in his home state. So, getting the chance to showcase his skills in nearby Atlantic City serves a dual purpose.
“I’m very excited. Fighting here in New Jersey is my home away from home,” he said. “For me, it’s just another day in the office. It’s sparring – with bad intentions. Being on TV, and getting paid for it. No big deal!”
After going the distance with Gibson in his debut with the UFC, Sterling has visualized many different outcomes to his bout with Viana. And while not all of them have started out well, he’s found a way to change that.
“I dream about every fight so much that it almost haunts me,” Sterling said. “I see the bad, but then I slow them down and figure out ways to change the outcome. I’m big on visualization, and on the law of attraction. I believe I work my (expletive) off and with a little luck, my dreams come to reality.
“Everything in training went as well as it possibly could. Like any sport, training for long periods of time leaves you with bumps and bruises here and there, but that comes with the territory.”
Sterling owns four submission wins to his credit, including three straight rear-naked choke finishes that led to his signing with the UFC. He has worked on breaking down tape of Viana, and sees one deciding factor determining the outcome.
“He seems to have really flexible shoulders, which could help wiggle out when I get back control,” Sterling said. “Besides that, nothing I don’t see in the gym every day. At the end of the day, it’s a fist-fight and in my opinion, I want this more than he does.
“I’ll be there for 15 minutes or less. It’s my time, my moment to shine and I won’t let him take this from me. If you think like an animal, you’ll do savage-like things.”
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has responded to comments made by challenger Chad Mendes following the cancellation of their planned rematch at UFC 176.
Aldo suffered an injury that knocked him out for several weeks and led to the cancellation of the entire pay-per-view as a whole. The two are expected to meet later this year, but Mendes wasn’t too pleased by the postponement.
The Brazilian, in a letter sent to Combate, addressed the comments made by Mendes. You can read the entire letter below:
I learned about the statements by Chad Mendes, and I have some doubts and questions for him. Regarding running away from him, I can only assume he’s calling me a coward. And that’s something that’s outside the realm of our sport of MMA. Which is why I will say this to him: you don’t know where I was born, what I went through to still be alive today, and where I came from. And seem to know next to nothing about my MMA career. But that’s OK; I’m guessing you might be a little confused.
I saw a statement in which you thought it was disrespectful for me to jump into the arms of my fans after knocking you out in Brazil. But wasn’t it you who, one week before calling me disrespectful, said that perhaps this time you’ll be the one running into the crowd as I did in Rio?
Concerning my injuries, maybe I have so many because I’m probably not taking the same ‘supplements’ you take. I have injuries because I work very hard to beat your ass as I did last time. And I think you remember well, and have nightmares about it to this day. I did all the necessary medical tests, but if now you are also a doctor, I can send the exams for you to evaluate. Maybe you could prescribe one of your supplements for me to get better faster?
Regarding how long I’ll stay idle, it is the doctors who will decide. He who gets beat up usually runs to avoid it a second time, but it’s no use running because I’m coming after you. Until the octagon gate slams shut, you can say whatever you want, because when it’s all said and done you won’t be able to open your mouth. So keep talking while you still can. And are you in charge of where I get to fight now? If that’s not the case, I don’t think Dana White would like seeing someone make decisions on his behalf.
Also I heard talk that you’d even fight for an interim belt. I guess you don’t want to wait for me, but that doesn’t make much sense because (Anthony) Pettis hasn’t fought since August of last year, due to injury, and we haven’t seen an interim lightweight belt. Cain (Velasquez) hasn’t fought since last October, and will only fight again in November. And as you well know, I already fought this year, in February (I beat Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169). There are still many months left until the end of this year and, even then, it would be less time than both Pettis and Cain have been inactive.
You seem most eager to only fight at home, and you refuse to fight me in Brazil. I got injured in Brazil before facing Frankie (Edgar) and I still went to Las Vegas to fight. I already fought there in your home (Sacramento) against your teacher (Urijah Faber); I fought in (Mark) Hominick ‘s home in front of 55,000 people; I fought in Japan, and in Europe. And you’re saying that you will be champion? A champion does not choose opponents or locations, so now I ask you who is the real COWARD?