Donald Cerrone fights this weekend at UFC 274 trying to do himself justice greater than anything, however field workplace sensation Conor McGregor holds him the very best regard.
The Corridor of Famer-in-waiting is taking up 16-year UFC veteran Joe Lauzon in Phoenix, Arizona and is trying to finish a six-fight winless run, however his information in UFC gained the respect of McGregor a very long time in the past.
Now 39 years previous and with a file of 36-16, Cerrone has entered legendary standing.
When he received the payday of his profession in early 2020 in opposition to McGregor – albeit in a 40 second loss – the UFC’s largest ever star lavished reward on Cerrone’s profession and accomplishments.
“The information that man has, give him some form of belt,” mentioned McGregor. “Critically, you give belts out for this, that and the opposite…what an outstanding legacy Donald has, and it’s an honour to share the octagon with that man. Critically, I imply that.”
“Phenomenal information,” mentioned McGregor. “I might solely hope and dream to realize the information he has.
“He’s fought 3 times extra fights than me,” mentioned McGregor. “He fought 11 instances within the final 12 months, and I’ve solely fought 11 instances within the UFC.”
Together with Charles Oliveira, Cerrone’s 18 post-fight bonuses is a UFC file. The 20 knockdowns he has recorded contained in the octagon is one other firm file.
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His 23 wins are the joint-most in UFC historical past with Jim Miller and Andrei Arlovski. He has competed within the octagon 37 instances, the third most in firm historical past (his opponent, Lauzon, has been in there 27 instances).
He’s additionally second in most finishes in UFC historical past with a staggering 16. Cerrone has additionally received the second most wins in UFC light-weight historical past (17) and the third most finishes in UFC light-weight historical past (10).
The very fact McGregor is in awe of another person’s achievements says a hell of lots.
Cerrone’s current skid – he hasn’t gained a battle since 2019 – has led many to imagine his profession is coming to a detailed. In equity, he took losses to McGregor, Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis amongst them – all prime calibre opponents for any competitor.
For his battle with fellow veteran Lauzon, he simply needs to depart no stone unturned.
“Let’s do all the things that I have to do to achieve success, so there’s no questions in my thoughts, ‘Shoulda, woulda, might’ve.’ Let’s do what I wanted to do to get to the UFC again within the day. Let’s earn your hold. Let’s be right here. Let everyone know you f***ing belong right here.
“I’ve nothing else to show,” Cerrone mentioned.
“I’ve set information. I’ve been right here. I’ve stayed right here. I’ve finished what I wanted to do. I take a look at myself within the mirror – I’m right here for legacy now. “That is only for me. I don’t have to fret about impressing anybody anymore. That’s finished. I’m on the age now the place you want me if you happen to don’t, I don’t give a f***. That is for legacy.”
Cerrone might stroll away from the UFC a wealthy and completely happy man. However he is aware of he hasn’t put his absolute all into making ready for his final couple of fights and that’s not one thing he can experience off into the sundown with on his conscience.
“I need to look myself within the mirror and be like, ‘You probably did all the things you would and that’s why I’m nonetheless right here.’ The place the final two years, I did nothing I needed to do.
“I’d simply go to coach. I’m not making f****ing excuses, I simply didn’t do what I have to do. Preparation is a direct reality of what my profession has spiralled into. So it’s time to rectify that battle for legacy, child.”