When the fight between Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis was first announced, it was widely believed that the winner would move on to face Benson Henderson for the UFC lightweight title. The folding of Strikeforce and the transfer of that promotion’s champion, Gilbert Melendez, over to the UFC scrapped those plans.
At this point, it looks like the winner of Saturday’s UFC on Fox 6 Cerrone versus Pettis bout may fight for the title sometime this summer, but that’s a pretty big maybe in the UFC’s ever-changing world of who is and isn’t in the mix.
Where Pettis has seemed to not agree with that plan, Cerrone couldn’t care less; in fact, he finds Pettis’ take on the entire subject a bit hypocritical.
“They absorbed Strikeforce. Just as they brought Anthony over from the WEC and gave him an immediate title shot; granted, he took the fight with Clay Guida, so now he's saying, ‘Oh, I can’t accept that’ when he did the exact same thing. They absorbed the company, and he (Melendez) is the champion and they should unify the titles, but it sucks for me because I have to wait until summer when wakeboarding’s in full effect.”
The other thing that seems to have bothered Pettis is the fact that Cerrone had been talking copious amounts of trash about him.
Cerrone, on more than one occasion, has stated that he felt Pettis was dodging a fight with him, while Pettis was in fact rehabbing from an injury. When asked about the trash talk, Cerrone basically said it was all a means to an end. “I got the fight now, didn’t I? That was kind of the overall goal. I was talking that s*** until he finally said, 'You know what, f**k it, let’s go.' That was the plan.”
Who wins on Saturday?
And go they will. Many in the media have opined that the Cerrone versus Pettis bout has “Fight of the Night” written all over it.
When asked if that talk heightened expectations on him and his opponent, Cerrone heatedly responded, “I don’t care. Just because you say it’s going to be fight of the year? I’m going to go out there and fight my ass off and that’s just what I do. I just go out there and get in your face, non-stop. As far as living up to the hype, I hope Anthony can live up to the hype. I plan on going out there and giving it everything I got, saving nothing for the swim home, just going to give it all.”
When asked if he had heard that Pettis had opined on how he felt Cerrone would attempt to take him down and lay and pray his way to victory, Cerrone responded, “Have you ever see me lay and pray? I’ve never once laid and prayed. My game plan against (Nate) Diaz should have been take him down and do the same thing and I didn’t. I have a feeling you want to stand and, fight mother****er. Let’s go. And you can quote that.”
As for the outcome of the fight, Cerrone clearly expects to win and move on to the next challenge of his career, plainly stating that 2013 “year is the year I’m going after that title for sure.”
On Saturday night, we’ll find out if he can make good on that claim.
All quotes obtained firsthand by BR MMA.