By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
WELTERWEIGHT Donald Cerrone is one of the most successful fighters in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). And it is something the Ohio native takes special pride in as it has been fashioned out the cowboy way, through “hard work and good work ethic.”
In the country at the weekend as part of a UFC fighter tour for his fight in Singapore in June, Mr. Cerrone, widely referred to as “Cowboy,” had a packed schedule, culminating in an open workout at the Megamall Activity Center on Sunday, where he got to mingle with his fans and share tips on how to be a success not only in the UFC but in life in general.
Sporting an impressive 33-10 record, 20 victories coming in the UFC that tied him with legends Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping, Mr. Cerrone said it is very representative of how he has approached his career.
“It is just being a cowboy which I view as doing things through hard work and a good work ethic,” said the UFC star in a short press conference hosted for him by Cignal TV on Friday at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas.
“But my motivation was not to have the record,” he was quick to say.
“When you’re a fighter you want to continue to fight, fight the best and I did that,” Mr. Cerrone added, referring to his go-getting and fight anyone and anywhere mind-set that has become his trademark.
Mr. Cerrone, who also fought in lightweight and vied for the UFC title, is set to fight Leon Edwards in the UFC’s return in Southeast Asia in Singapore on June 23.
It is an event that Mr. Cerrone said he is looking forward to, considering it has been a long time since he last fought in this part of the world.
“It has been a while since I fought in Asia. It has been a long road back. I like fighting in Japan. It is one of my favorite places to fight. Very excited to be back in Asia because the fans are amazing,” said Mr. Cerrone, who also shared his Manila visit made for a good first-time experience.
As to his fight with 26-year-old Edwards (14-3) at “UFC Fight Night 132” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Mr. Cerrone, 35, said he is training hard for it as it is akin to a battle between two generations.
“He’s young and coming up the ranks. He’s an arrogant little kid. He calls me old. So let’s see,” said the American fighter, who left Manila on Monday morning.
Mr. Cerrone won in his last fight against Yancy Medeiros in Texas in February by way of technical knockout in the second round.
The win allowed Mr. Cerrone to tie the record for most wins in the UFC and position himself to seize history with a victory over Mr. Edwards.
In the Philippines, Cignal TV, the country’s foremost direct-to-home (DTH) company, is the home of the UFC after the two groups agreed to an extensive deal that will see the UFC beamed on various platforms.
By Michael Angelo S. Murillo