In an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com, Cerrone confirmed that he was expecting to face current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner on January 25 in what could very well end up being the show’s main event.
Up until his last fight with McCullough, the undefeated Greg Jackson trained fighter had finished every one of his previous opponents by submission in less than two rounds and his dangerous submission game and punishing stand up could pose quite a few problems to the defending champion.
Cerrone’s previous fight with the former WEC champion was a back and forth war that ended up netting both fighters fight of the night bonuses. Cerrone was impressive and dropped McCullough on several occasions en route to the unanimous decision victory in a bout that was viewed as a number one contendership match.
“The fight went just how I thought it would go,” Cerrone said. “I wanted a three round war. I wasn’t looking to finish it early so I’m glad it went as long as it did because that’s what I wanted to do.”
The undefeated lightweight was not disappointed in the least with the fact that he didn’t manage to finish McCullough. Knowing that a title shot was likely right around the corner, Cerrone was hoping to push himself harder than he ever had before.
“This fight was the time to go three rounds and that’s what I wanted to do,” said Cerrone. “I didn’t want the submission and I didn’t want the early stoppage. I wanted just for myself, just to go three hard rounds to kind of see where I’m at.”
McCullough didn’t make it easy on Cerrone for one bit. The fight was a brutal affair and by all accounts, both men showed up to fight and fight hard. Cerrone couldn’t help but tip his cowboy hat to the former champion for giving him an amazing fight.
“That was the Rob that I wanted to fight, the one that showed up, the one that was going to be in my face bringing it the whole time,” Cerrone explained. “I’m glad that that’s the one that showed up. I’ve got nothing bad to say about the guy. He’s a great athlete and he definitely brought it to the table that night.”
Even though it ended up being fight of the night, for some reason it wasn’t able to make the live broadcast of WEC 36. Putting on that kind of performance and not having it shown is surely disappointing but Cerrone doesn’t sweat the small stuff.
“Hopefully they show it in the future but whatever,” said the 25-year old. “I’m just going to keep fighting and doing what I do and leave the other things to everybody else.”
No formal announcement has been made but Cerrone fully expects to face Varner for the title in his next bout.
“As far as I know it should be set,” he confirmed to Five Ounces of Pain. “I think the 25th of January is the day that it’s going to be.”
The undefeated lightweight is excited about the opportunity face off with the champion. Cerrone hopes that the best Jamie Varner shows up that night so he can test himself once again.
“He’s a wrestler and he’s a striker,” said the current number one contender. “I’m excited all around for that fight. It’s going to be another war. I’m coming to bring it so hopefully he does as well.”
The man popularly referred to as “Cowboy” says that he still can’t escape the shadow of his appearance on season one of “Tapout” but it’s a shadow that he embraces.
“People still recognize me from the Tapout show,” said Cerrone. “Everyone yells ‘Cowboy! Cowboy!’ just like those guys did. It’s cool though. I like it.”
Constantly looking for ways to push his game to the next level, Cerrone is currently training in England and then Holland where he will focus on improving his striking with some of the best kickboxers in the business.
“I’m going to England and then I’ll be heading over to Amsterdam so it will be good to get with those guys and work my kickboxing,” said Cerrone. “Once I get to England I’m going to meet up with some of my buddies and we’re going to figure out where I’m going to train from there.”
Although the trip will definitely be beneficial to Cerrone as far as the amount of knowledge he could come away with but the trip to England isn’t all about him.
“A good friend of mine that trains in Albuquerque with me, Tom Watson, is going to be fighting for the Cage Rage title coming up on December 6th,” explained the man known simply to some as just ‘Cowboy.’ “That’s the reason I’m going to England, to help him with these last couple of weeks and then be there for him during the fight.”