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Donald Cerrone “100% confident” he can beat Nate Diaz in a rematch

It’s hard to imagine the Donald Cerrone who outclassed Jeremy Stephens so thoroughly in the stand-up department on Tuesday night at UFC on Fuel 3 is the same “Cowboy” that Nate Diaz picked apart with strikes in his previous outing. In fact, Cerrone himself would tell you an imposter entered the Octagon last December against Diaz.

Diaz’s dominant decision win still stings when Cerrone thinks about it as he made clear in an interview with Fuel TV shortly after his victory over Stephens.

“That fight’s not in the rear-view,” said Cerrone when asked if his success against Stephens had allowed him to move on from the loss. “No, no…that wasn’t me. I was off, and I’m not making excuses – he was the better man. He looked great in his last fight and my hat’s off to the dude. He’s really turning the career in his career and there’s a bad taste in my mouth. The dude, I really want to fight him. I’m 100% confident I can beat him.”

With Diaz likely sitting out until receiving the title-shot he was promised in beating Jim Miller earlier this month it appears Cerrone will have to wait awhile before a shot at redemption. In the interim he hopes to fight on August 11 at UFC 150 given the event’s proximity to his birthplace in Colorado. While he doesn’t have a specific opponent in mind, he is open to the idea of taking on Anthony Pettis as many fans have called for.

“Yeah, c’mon…anyone…I don’t care. Whoever they want me to fight. Whoever I’ve got to fight to get the belt, this is the year I want it. I’m coming,” stated an animated Cerrone. “Last year, my rookie year, I was scared. Everyone was asking about the belt. I’m like, “Oh man, that’s a big deal. Coming here, fighting for a belt my first year.’ Now I’m ready. Pettis…c’mon…whoever they want. Denver’s what I want though.”

Cerrone improved his overall record to 18-4 with his solid showing against Stephens. The victory was only the fourth by way of decision in his career with thirteen total wins via submission.

Check out the full interview below:

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

12 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    I’d love to see him & Pettis go at it… When is Showtime due back?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  • fitfreak says:

    I’m willing to bet he was 100% confident he could beat Diaz the first time. I know he looked a little off that night, but…just sayin.

    I agree. Cerrone vs. Pettis.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Aggressively outpointing a guy he had a significant reach advantage over, and beating Nate are two totally different propositions.

    Cerrone proved he’s a killer when facing no credible threat. I’m not convinced a rematch with Nate would go any differently than the first.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  • Screenplaya says:

    If you don’t like Cowboy, you don’t like fighting. I think Nick Diaz gained the mental edge on Cerrone prior to the first fight, and it surely helped him win. I am confident Cerrone won’t fall for that in a rematch, so I expect a closer fight, though with Nate evolving into something approaching his brother Nick, there is no way I could predict Cowboy wins a rematch.

    Bring us Cerrone/Pettis and let it be in Denver. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  • Lord Faust says:

    Of the people Nate’s beat in the last 3-4 fights, Cerrone is the only one even worth mentioning right now in terms of rematches. It won’t happen, though, I am sure Nate will stick to his word about waiting for his title shot. (Unless something controversial happens in Edgar / Henderson Part Deux.)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i enjoyed the first fight, but a rematch is unesecary. Donald could win for sure if he turned it into a greg jackson pointfest, but i dant wanna see that

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Nate has definitely found his groove in the LW division. I’m still curious/skeptical how he would fare against the athleticism/wrestling of Bendo, the strength/wrestling of Maynard, the speed/wrestling of Frankie, or the dynamic striking of Showtime… but Nate has come a long ways in earning my respect, and I can now see him as a viable threat to the top guys.

    But back to Cerrone, I do agree with him that a rematch would be a different fight. There was a lot of genuine animosity & trash talk between he & Diaz… from the pre-fight build up & trash talk, to the intense weigh-in, to the pre-fight staredown, right up to the opening bell when Cowboy recklessly charged across the octagon as he had promised he would. Sorta seemed like there was an adrenaline dump, as Cowboy was pretty lethargic that night. I can’t pretend to understand how it all affected him mentally & physically, but it seems safe to assume it was not a smart approach and that he was overwhelmed by the overall situation.

    So yeah, I’d be very interested to see a rematch, though it almost certainly won’t happen for a while. But Faust brings up an interesting point about Nate waiting for his shot… what happens if Frankie squeaks out a split decision or something similarly controversial? That doesn’t seem all the unlikely given how close the first fight was, and at that point how could Benson not be “owed” an immediate rematch (coming off wins over Miller, Guida, Frankie) the same way the other guys have?

    But regardless, I don’t blame Nate at all for waiting. Pettis came over from the WEC having beaten the current champ, was due for a unification title shot, but given the ongoing rematch drama taht’s been clogging up the LW division for a while now, he opted to take another fight before his title shot… well, he ended up getting Guida’d in a fight in which he absorbed virtually no damage, and despite picking up 2 wins since he’s still stuck towards the back of the heap at the top, with the UFC doing him absolutely no favors given the way everything went down. Fuck that. Wait for your shot, Nate.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    I’d love see a rematch at some point. I just think Cerrone’s too much of a scrapper to tune out the covert — and more obvious overt — antagonism. Plain and simple, Diaz would get under his skin again and probably win another awesome fight via decision.

    I will admit, though, my view is coloured by the Stephens fight this week. Cerrone seemed unwilling to extend himself and finish a guy he completely out-worked for 15 minutes.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Stephens is incredibly difficult to finish. In his last 14 fights (all under the UFC banner) only Lauzon has managed to do so, catching him with an armbar. In his 28 total career bouts, Jeremy’s never been finished by strikes, though he’s shown he’s more than capable of separating his opponent from consciousness. So going in for the kill on Stephens is a dangerous proposition, which Marcus Davis found out after taking the first 2 rounds only to be flattened by a KOTN in the 3rd rd.

    So I was nothing but impressed by Cowboy’s performance on Tuesday night. I expected him to come out with a sound technical gameplan and find a way to pick up a decision victory, but did not envision it happening in such a dominant fashion. Pretty sure he gave Stephens the worst ass whoopin of his career, and Jeremy’s been around the block.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    I don’t want to sound like I’m dismissing Stephens, but Cerrone made him look like the new guy at the gym. That’s why I was shocked he didn’t pull the trigger. Stephens is definitely not to be overlooked, or discounted, but Cerrone looked like finishing was a matter of “when” not “if” in that fight.

    Cerrone still looked good; when I said “aggressively outpointed”, I meant that as a compliment. I’d rather see 10 decisions like that than a single Askren fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Richard I’ve been wondering the same thing if Frankie wins, does Henderson get an instant rematch since it’s technically only fair since Frankie got one.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • If donald did use the same style he did the other night or used the great footwork condit did to beat Nick he would stand a better chance. The problem with the first fight was that he went in hot blooded and ran straight at Nate which is a bad thing to do against a dude who throws alot of accurate punches.
    As far as the next tier for Nate, first of all everyone needs to quit putting Anthony Pettis on that stage. Pettis beat Ben Henderson due to one kick and a tough weight cut for Ben. Since then he was smothered by Guida, barely scraped by Stephens and kicked the head off the most inconsistent LW on the UFCs roster. Nate’s forward motion iron chin and super slick jits would make Pettis look like a rookie due to Pettis not being able to fire off his impressive kicks while moving backwards. I do think Cowboy vs. Showtime would be awesome.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

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