Donald Cerrone faces UFC newcomer Vagner Rocha this weekend at UFC 131, but to hear him tell it, he knows next to nothing about the guy. “I haven’t watched any video on him and I haven’t watched any tape on him, I don’t care,” Cerrone told UFC.com, “I’m going in there to fight him like I’m going in there to fight anyone else.”
Of course, “fighting him like anyone else” means that we could well have a Fight of the Night on our hands, an award that Cerrone has picked up five times in four years. His first fight with Ben Henderson in 2009 was a five round war that was Sherdog’s pick for Fight of the Year. Now 14-3 (1 NC), Cerrone has racked up 12 submissions wins, but he’s not interested in going to the ground. Speaking of his opponent, a noted grappler with four of six wins coming via submission, Cerrone lets it be known that he wants a damn fight. “I hope he doesn’t come wanting to make this a jiu-jitsu match,” Cowboy says.
Vagner Rocha is a Brazilian by birth, but lives and trains in Florida under Pablo Popovitch. Rocha’s 6-1 record includes two wins on Bellator undercards and a decision loss to Bret Bergmark under the Strikeforce banner… and that pretty much sums up the information on Rocha, who most of us know very little about. While his grappling credentials are as legit as they come, there is some concern that he’s too one-dimensional to offer Cerrone much difficulty on the feet.
Cerrone had a few choice words for his previous opponent, Mac Danzig, who pulled out of the fight with Cerrone last month. Danzig started some trash talk on Twitter, saying “So all you have to do to secure a fight you haven’t earned is wear a silly hat, call yourself ‘Cowboy’ and talk trash? Seems strange.” Cerrone did not take kindly to that sort of discourse, and believes that Danzig faked an injury to avoid the fight, responding:
“I wasn’t surprised he faked the injury and pulled out of the fight because that is what happens when you talk shit and can’t back it up. I was very motivated for that fight. I was getting ready to go in there and show Mac why I belong in the UFC. But just because Mac pulled out doesn’t mean I’m not coming for him. He’s still going to get his ass kicked. If he wants to talk shit then he’s going to get his ass kicked. That fight will happen.”
Now, we’re all for guys getting fired up before they step into the cage, but we hope Cerrone isn’t looking past this Rocha fellow. A loss to some random dude would hamper the momentum Cowboy has generated over since his win at WEC 53 in December, momentum he needs to climb the ladder in UFC’s packed lightweight division. But Cerrone has words for Rocha as well: “Don’t come and try to pull guard. I don’t want to have a boring fight and disappoint anybody. So come ready to throw down.”
Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about. Gitty up, Cowboy.