Donald Cerrone is one of the UFC’s top competitors – in two weight divisions – and continues to be so without doing any heavy, striking sparring….
Cerrone, who is coming off a memorable, stoppage win over Rick Story at UFC 202, recently appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience. During the interview “Cowboy” revealed that he’s no longer chucking hard punches and kicks during his training camp, due to fears over head trauma (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“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,” Cerrone said. “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*cking brawls did me and (teammate) Leonard Garcia have in the training room? I don’t know. So, like, I’ll get in there and move around with Andrei (Arlovski) 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 isn’t the only fighter who’s gone this route. For several years Robbie Lawler elected to not spar during training, after he dealt with concussion issues. As we know, Lawler didn’t just fade away into obscurity as a result. He went on to become the UFC’s welterweight champ. Cerrone, meanwhile, is 9-1 in his last 10 bouts and the only man to defeat him since 2013 is Rafael dos Anjos.
The New Mexico fighter also relayed in the interview that he should have an announcement on his next bout soon. It will be interesting to see who it is. Following his win over Story, Cerrone called for a rematch with lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez, who he decisioned in 2014.