Donald Cerrone: “Don’t back down, don’t turn away, that’s all I know how to do.”

Donald Cerrone: “Don’t back down, don’t turn away, that’s all I know how to do.”

UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone fights like he lives – hard and fast. Known for his love of extreme sports like dirt-biking and wakeboarding, the 30-year old has also become a fan-favorite based on his willingness to go to war inside the Octagon. However, age and injury have given Cerrone reason to reevaluate his approach, resulting in a more cerebral “Cowboy” than the one who used to go toe-to-toe in every tilt.

“I wish I could block a little more, move my head a little more, but that’s the only way I know how to do it. Don’t back down, don’t turn away, that’s all I know how to do,” said Cerrone in an interview with MMAJunkie. “If you had seen my early kickboxing fights, you’d go, ‘Oh yeah, that is just how he fights.’ Hands at my waist, giving 100 percent, just throwing punches until I couldn’t throw anymore. Overwhelming guys was the one ability I had. That and taking unbelievable shots. I’ve been working on that, trying to calm down and bring it back down, but at the end of the day, when the sh*t hits the fan, that’s what I fall back on. Just fighting.”

Cerrone will have a chance to showcase his style, both new and old school, when he faces Rafael dos Anjos on Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 27. Asked to assess his opponent, Cerrone gave his foe credit but not so much as to say he was superior in any one facet of fighting.

“I think my ground game is better than his, my wrestling is better, I know my striking is better,” stated Cerrone. “It’s a lose-lose-lose situation for Dos Anjos.”

Dos Anjos (19-6) is currently on a four-fight winning streak including success against Evan Dunham, Mark Bocek, and Anthony Njokuani. By comparison, Cerrone holds an overall record of 20-5 with victories in three of his last four fights and fifteen total finishes.

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