When Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone says he's not making any excuses for going against the game plan against Nate Diaz, he's not saying that for sympathy.
The emotion with which Cerrone fought had not been seen since his WEC 51 clash with Jamie Varner, but with that fight, Cerrone stuck with the game plan despite the obvious fire from his opponent.
With Diaz, Cerrone made similar errors to the ones on which he capitalized against Varner, and it did not translate into an argument towards anything aside from a case for the second round.
In reality, Diaz landed somewhere in the neighborhood of 258 strikes while Cerrone only landed 68, so now comes the question:
Did Donald Cerrone blow his load early and give out to the point of eventually getting limp offensively?
Short answer: yes he did, but while Cerrone was the more diverse striker, history has shown that even a diverse striker can let it all out a bit too early when he's across the cage from a Diaz brother.
Diaz wanted to get Cerrone to do what he did and he did a good job at that, with Cerrone's argument towards the second round coming by way of leg kicks, which judges normally don't like to take into account when they score rounds.
Simply put, Diaz's gameplan lured Cerrone in, and Cerrone took the bait, but what does Cerrone have to be ashamed about?
He didn't get that fifth straight UFC win he wanted, and the media speculated as to whether a fifth UFC win (seventh straight under the UFC banner, had it happened) would lead to the former two-time WEC Lightweight title contender finding himself in the mix of the UFC lightweight division.
Remember what he said when he said he was broke, though:
"That's been the question," Cerrone said. "And my answer to that is, I don't care."
Cerrone wanted to stay busy more than he wanted Frankie Edgar or Benson Henderson, and with that type of warrior spirit blended with his style, he's got nothing to really apologize for, maybe sans the respect from Diaz's ground game.
Other than that, though, all Cerrone needs to do from here is to take last night's loss as a learning experience and use it to help him get back on track.
Oh, and if it's even possible with you, Mr. Cerrone, you might want to stay busy.
Apparently, Dana White likes that sort of thing.