It’s a common occurrence — a fighter learning of a new opponent in the weeks prior to a bout.
But… the case of Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone, maybe you could say there was an uncommon twist.
Former UFC Lightweight Champion Henderson was originally scheduled to fight Eddie Alvarez this Sunday at UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver in Boston.
“I didn’t find out until ‘Cowboy’ texted me,” Henderson told MMAFighting.com. “The UFC didn’t call me. They didn’t ask me. They didn’t say anything. Actually, ‘Cowboy’ hit me up and said, ‘Hey man, nothing personal. Just business. It’s all love.’ I texted him back: ‘Oh man, yeah. I don’t know what you’re talking about, but yeah. Sure. Of course. Whatever.”
Henderson would soon learn Alvarez was forced to cancel due to an injury, and old friend Cerrone had agreed to take his place. But as it turns out, Cerrone was right — it’s nothing personal.
“I don’t care,” Henderson said. “It doesn’t matter. Anybody in the 155-pound division — anytime, anywhere, any place. I don’t care who it is. I’m as confident as any other fighter on the entire planet, if not more so.”
Henderson seemed to play down any changes in his preparation for his new opponent; something he seems to also have in common with Cerrone.
“The game plan is always the same,” Henderson said.
Last week, Cerrone laughed at a reporter who asked about his preparation for the bout:
“Prepare? S–t, I don’t even have enough time to prepare a cake! What are you talking about, prepare? I’m just going in fighting. I’ve got enough time to cut weight. There will be no game planning that we know… just fight!”