While he may boast a ton of submission stoppages in comparison to TKOs, UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone has kickboxing skills and isn’t afraid to use them. Fortunately for “Cowboy”, his foe at UFC 160 should be more than willing to engage him in a stand-up scrap if so desired. After all, eight of K.J. Noons’ eleven wins have come by way of strikes and he’s a former pro boxer who had mitts strapped to his hands at an early age.
The match-up of styles has Cerrone stoked about what’s to come, though not just because he’s interested in testing his abilities against Noons’. Rather, the 30-year old is especially eager to prove he’s grown since losing to Anthony Pettis in January.
“I was at the top of the heap until I got liver kicked and knocked back to the bottom. Now I have to start all over again. I think you have to earn your way up to the top, but when you get there, you have to keep performing,” admitted Cerrone in an interview with the UFC’s website. “When you perform like I did, you deserve to go back to the bottom and work your way back up. I deserved to be up there twice but now I have to get back in there and prove myself. The other guys in the division have to do the same. I have no problems going out there and fighting. I would like to fight more to be honest.”
Focusing on the specific showdown at hand, Cerrone dismissed Noons’ assertions that he won’t truly trade shots in their tilt.
“K.J. is coming to throw down and I’m excited about it. He likes to stand up and let it go. Stylistically it is going to be a hell of a fight and that’s what the crowd wants to see. It should be interesting,” said Cerrone. “I’m confident all around in this fight. For this training camp, I’ve been working on my weaknesses and making them my strengths. Every time after a loss, you always try to focus on what you did wrong and what you need to improve on. I feel confident in my ground game but I like to stand, man. I like to throw down and that is what people love to see. I never ever want to go out there and get booed. People like to see fighters come out there and throw and that’s what I love to do.”
Cerrone’s loss to Pettis dropped his record to 19-5, also ending his hopes of a three-fight winning streak after having previously beaten Jeremy Stephens and Melvin Guillard. His bout with Noons will kick off the PPV portion of UFC 160 this Saturday night.
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