Cowboy-Iaquinta Put Experience On Display In Ottawa
In a division that has been at the focal point of the biggest feud in mixed martial arts, Donald Cerrone only cares about one thing, becoming the UFC lightweight champion/
Walking into Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on May 4th, Cerrone sees his ESPN+ main event against Al Iaquinta as the roadblock to him getting a title shot against current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov or interim champion Dustin Poirier.
“There’s so many years I used to stand here and everyone asked me about the title and I’m like, ‘I don’t even care about it,’” Cerrone said at UFC on ESPN+ 9 open workouts. “I don’t know why I just love fighting so much it never meant anything to me. I’ve set records and I’m here to get the (expletive) belt. That’s my mission now.”
Iaquinta, who fought for the title in 2018 as a last minute replacement for Max Holloway amidst the cursed UFC 223 fight week, faces the man with the most wins (22), finishes, and post-fight bonuses (both 16), in the 25+ year history of the UFC.
The Long Island fighter/real estate agent knows the energy and toughness that Cerrone brings, telling MMA Fighting that, “he’s still the ‘Cowboy,’ man. He went out there and the crowd loved him and he got a huge [ovation].”
“The fans were loving him in Brooklyn for his last fight, I was sitting there. I think he’s so experienced and he’s been in there with everybody, he’s really just put it all together. His entire body of work throughout his whole career just speaks for itself. But I think my experience is at an all-time high too. I’ve been in there with the best and I’ve showed what I can do. Even through my losses. A lot of people lose to the guys that I’ve lost to, and they get almost like it deflates them and it sends them in a downward trajectory throughout their career.”
Speaking of experience, Cerrone is ready to “blow the roof off” the Canadian Tire Center, in his 41st fight under the Zuffa (WEC/UFC) umbrella.
“We talk about (the division) being stacked, but we’re in such a weird, stale position,” Cerrone said about the state of the lightweight division with Nurmagomedov suspended until the fall and Conor McGregor retiring.
“But when I get the belt, ’55ers be ready to fight because I’m fighting so often. I can’t wait.”
For the full card of the UFC’s return to Canada, look below.
UFC on ESPN+ 9 Main Card (8 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Al Iaquinta vs. Donald Cerrone
185 lbs.: Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou
145 lbs.: Shane Burgos vs. Cub Swanson
135 lbs.: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Brad Katona
265 lbs.: Walt Harris vs. Sergey Spivak
185 lbs.: Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Andrew Sanchez
UFC on ESPN+ 9 Prelims On ESPN (5 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Macy Chiasson vs. Sarah Moras
145 lbs.: Vince Morales vs. Aiemann Zahabi
170 lbs.: Nordine Taleb vs. Kyle Prepolec
155 lbs.: Kyle Nelson vs. Matt Sayles
265 lbs.: Juan Adams vs. Arjan Bhullar
135 lbs.: Mitch Gagnon vs. Cole Smith
Cowboy Quotes: MMAJunkie
Iaquinta Quotes: MMA Fighting