At UFC 249 this weekend, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will look to get back to his winning ways and avenge a loss to a former opponent, Anthony Pettis. Cerrone and Pettis previously fought back in 2013 at UFC on FOX 6, with Pettis winning by first-round knockout.
Cerrone is also looking to bounce back from his 40-second loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 246 in January, a fight that Cerrone admitted he realized two days out that he didn’t want to be there for. As he looks to get back on track inside the Octagon, Cerrone’s coach John Wood of Syndicate MMA recently revealed that Cerrone has a “fire lit under his ass” and is ready for everything in his rematch against Pettis.
The circumstances surrounding UFC 249 make the fight unique and unusual—no fans will be in attendance, the date and location were moved several times, and no telling what happens next in the division, and all those things could play a part of Cerrone’s approach in this fight.
Making an appearance on ‘The Luke Thomas Show’ on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation, Wood discussed what conditions during a fight are what make Cerrone turn it on and become the “Cowboy” that has made him a legend in the sport.
“When he gets going, when he gets into the fight, when the fight is brought to him and when he starts to settle in, that’s when he does his best work,” Wood said of Cerrone. “When he gets comfortable in the fight and the fight is going and after all the nerves and everything kind of settle in, his body just takes over. He gets going and he’s kind of a robot in that point in time and everything kinda just goes.”
Wood not only believes that Cerrone still has it, but in their last month of training, he says he’s seen some of the best work from Cerrone he’s ever seen. It’s just all about getting him to settle in.
“It’s just really getting him to settle into the fight,” Wood said. “Man, I’ll tell you what, working with him for the last month, he kicks like a mule, hits he’s fast, he’s explosive, everything is still there, if not better. The guy is an athlete even though he might not come off that way, Cowboy is probably one of the most explosive, athletic guys I’ve worked with. If he can get in there and get in his rhythm and groove, I think he can beat anybody out there, still.”
It sounds like the Donald Cerrone that fans and fighters have come to know and respect is ready to get back on track and avenge his loss to Anthony Pettis at UFC 249, he just needs to get into his rhythm.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/7/2020.