Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has the chance to become the all-time winningest fighter in UFC history on Saturday when he takes on Leon Edwards in a Fight Pass-streamed card in Singapore.
Cerrone, though, isn’t focused on breaking the record he shares with Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping, all of whom have won 20 times in the UFC. Nor is he concerned with catching Bisping for most bouts in UFC history. Bisping has 29 and Cerrone’s fight on Saturday in Singapore will be his 28th.
The 35-year-old, who is also tied with the legendary Anderson Silva with 13 fight-night bonuses, trailing only Nate Diaz and Joe Lauzon with 15 apiece, has a different focus.
He wants to continue to fight so long that he’ll set records that never may be approached.
“I still love to fight and I am going to keep fighting for so long, I’m going to put those [records] so far out there, no one will be close,” he said.
He’s made few concessions to age, though one significant one is that he no longer trains the way he once did. He’s learned through experience what it takes to prepare for a bout. No longer does he torture himself getting ready.
“I don’t train harder now, man, no way,” he said. “I train a lot smarter and a lot easier. I don’t need to be sparring and doing these crazy workouts five, six times a day.”
Cerrone, who in February stopped Yancy Medeiros late in the first round to end a three-fight losing streak that represented the first multiple-bout losing skein of his 12-year-plus MMA career, has reason to be a little more intense for the bout with Edwards than normal.
It has nothing to do with hitting the all-time wins record or anything else. Edwards has been vocal about beating Cerrone for several months, and has gotten into talking trash.
He’s hoping to use a victory over Cerrone to get a bout in his hometown of Birmingham, England, much the way countryman Darren Till used a win over Cerrone last year in Gdansk, Poland, to headline a show against Stephen Thompson in Till’s hometown of Liverpool, England.
Not much bothers Cerrone, but Edwards’ tough-guy antics and constant chatter has gotten under his skin.
And though he had those three consecutive losses to Jorge Masvidal, Robbie Lawler and Till, Cerrone most definitely is no steppingstone and is intent on making that point emphatically.
“He started talking and it’s like, ‘OK, he wants some attention,’ but he has talked and talked and hasn’t given it a rest,” Cerrone said. “This is like way beyond what he needs to do. He’s a cocky [expletive], to tell you the truth. But the thing is, we’ll see each other soon enough.”
And if Cerrone has his way, he’ll make his point by standing across from Edwards and having it out in a war of strikes.
Edwards is a striker and Cerrone hopes his rival intends to fight him that way.
“That’s the kind of fight people want to see, two guys standing there beating the [expletive] out of each other,” Cerrone said. “I hope he doesn’t get in there and try to take me down and turn it into a grappling contest. Let’s give the people what they want.”
UFC Fight Night 132 will stream live on Saturday morning in the United States at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT.
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