Leading up to UFC Fight Night 83, much of the narrative tied to Donald Cerrone’s pending bout at 170, has been that the fighter is moving up because he wanted to fight soon, so he jumped on the opportunity (originally he was scheduled to fight surging welterweight Tim Means). Well, as fight day nears, it looks like the perennial lightweight contender might be staying at 170.
Recently Cerrone’s longtime coach, the renowned Greg Jackson, appeared on The Three Amigo’s podcast. During the interview, Jackson had this to say, about Cerrone’s future at welterweight (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“…I think that he was getting so light that he was just wasn’t feeling confident. He wouldn’t open up, he was worried about getting gassed out, I think it’s all of these things that moving up a weight class is really going to help him with. I think that he’s going to be stronger, more healthy, his body is going to be able to absorb damage better, [and] I think it’s an all-around good move.”
“I think so, unless there’s a really compelling reason to bring it down. He’s been looking really good in training, he’s a lot happier now that he doesn’t diet so hard, and I think he’s going to be more productive.”
Now, sure, if Cerrone goes out and has a bad performance versus Alex Oliveira, maybe this plan will get ditched. But, really, if Cerrone’s been feeling better at 170, then this could be the way to go. Plenty of other fighters have decided to put large weight cuts behind them in recent months.
Further, as long as RDA is the champ at 155, then Cerrone has a ways to go before he’s back in title contention. “Cowboy” has been defeated by the champ now on two occasions. But, what if Conor McGregor secures the lightweight crown? Could that compel Cerrone to return to lightweight for a contender bout? And advance to a fight with his rival?
First things first, however, and that’s Oliveira. The two will battle at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center on February 21st.