Coach John Wood explains why Donald Cerrone will be different at UFC 249

Donald Cerrone, Cowboy, Joe Rogan, Brendan Schaub

John Wood, one of the coaches behind Donald Cerrone, recently explained how “Cowboy” will lasso a victory in his UFC 249 rematch against Anthony Pettis.

The updated UFC 249 card is expected to take place under lockdown conditions on May 9 in Jacksonville, Florida. The 37-year old Cerrone is expected to face Anthony Pettis in a preliminary fight. Syndicate MMA head coach John Wood is training with Cowboy on his “BMF” ranch in New Mexico. Their partnership was the result of an Instagram chat and the coach’s newfound free time.

“I’ve known Cowboy for a while,” Wood said told MMA Fighting. “We’ve kept in contact and when he comes to Vegas, he’ll work Syndicate and we’ll spend some time.

“It’s kind of funny how it came about,” Wood continued. “There were posts or something about the fight, and that he’s fighting Pettis again. On Instagram, he posted something and I said, ‘Hey, if you want someone to come clean the gym for a couple of weeks, I’m in. I’m not doing anything right now.’

“He actually hit me up the next day, asked me what I was doing and, obviously, I’ve got a little bit of free time on my hands. I ended up coming out here, doing the thing with him, and helping him out with camp.”

In his most recent bouts, Donald Cerrone has experienced losses against  Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor. He also suffered a disappointing first-round loss against Anthony Pettis back in 2013. Wood believes that the opportunity to avenge his loss in a rematch will result in a different performance from the fighter.

“From what I see, he’s pretty much the same,” Wood said of Cerrone. “Whoever you put in there (with him) he’s ready to fight. I think anytime you lose to somebody, there’s always a little revenge factor going into it to try to get that back. That may be in the back of his head. I’m positive this fight’s going to go a little bit different.

“I know right now that he’s fired up coming off a couple of losses. He wants to get back there and in the winner’s [circle] and he’s definitely saying, doing the right things. I believe you’re gonna see a fired-up Cowboy ready to open up a can of whoop-ass, that’s for sure.”

Anthony Pettis will also be looking to break his current losing streak. He suffered a unanimous decision loss against the “BMF contender” Nate Diaz in 2019. In his most recent bout, he was submitted by Diego Ferreira at UFC 246. Regardless of his recent defeats, Wood knows that the former lightweight champion should not be underestimated.

“Any time you have someone like Pettis, who is obviously super talented, you just have to prepare for everything,” Wood said. “His last fight he came out completely southpaw and changed it all up. You have to be ready for all of those kinds of things.

“We’re in a very short time right now. They didn’t bring me out here to take over and change all this stuff, and that’s not what I want to do. I’m here to just add a couple of things, clean up a couple of things that I see that could be useful in the fight. The one thing you don’t want to do in this short amount of time is come in and be like, ‘You’ve got to do this, you have to do that.’

“As I work and kind of flow with Donald, see what he likes to do, we’re just tightening some things up and just be ready for everything. Pettis is a well-rounded dude and there’s flashes of brilliance there that you have to be ready for. If that dude shows up, he’s on fire and you’ve got to be ready to dig in and do your thing.”

Do you think Donald Cerrone has what it takes to avenge his first loss and beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 249?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/28/2020.