Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is a tough as they come, in a ferociously tough sport. When the man makes a major change, the sport should take notice.
Although a number of steps are being taken to address it, MMA still suffers from a culture of extreme weight cutting. Cerrone moved from lightweight to welterweight and looks tremendous, defeating Alex Oliveira, Patrick Cote, and Rick Story.
Now in an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Cerrone says he no longer spars hard.
“Sparring is all I did, that’s what I used to do,” said Cerrone, as transcribed by MMA Fighting. “I thought that was getting ready for a fight, would just be f***ing throwing down,” Cerrone said Tuesday on the Joe Rogan Experience. “Now I don’t spar at all, and all I do is drill, because drilling is the most important thing you can do.”
“I feel like the little guy at the Wal-Mart check-in, clicking. Every time you take a hit to your head, he pushes the button. How many people go into Wal-Mart before it’s full? I don’t know. I have no idea. How many more do I got? How many epic f***ing brawls did me and Leonard Garcia have in the training room? I don’t know. So, like, I’ll get in there and move around with Andrei and move around with all of the heavyweights, but light, MMA sparring. Heavy takedowns and grappling, but real light striking. But the days of putting the big gloves on and throwing down? Hell no.”
Cerrone also discussed the move to a more natural weight.
“I used to walk around 174,” he said. “That was like my deep training camp, and I noticed when I’d start to cut, I’d get down to 168, 170, but I had nothing in the gas tank, man. It was all mental at that point. Like, my body felt real thin and brittle. At 170, I feel good. I got the extra tank, you know?
“Another big part of it is, 170-pounders, don’t think you can just come take [me down with] body shots anymore, because I got a little more biscuit now.”
“The whole time I was at 155, you know how I like to fight, so I would call (the UFC), ‘hey, a 170-pounder fell out, I’ll take that fight,’” said Cerrone, laughing.
“You know what Joe and Dana would tell me? ‘Cowboy, you’re a 155er. Those guys are f***ing monsters.’ So now I’m at 170 and I want to fight at 155 and they say, ‘no, you’re f***ing so great at 170, you don’t want to go down to 155.’ Like, goddamnit, will you guys make up your f***ing mind of what I can do.”