Few were surprised when Donald Cerrone accepted a short notice opportunity but in truth, ‘Cowboy’ was exactly that when Tony Ferguson agreed to fight him.
Just weeks removed from his decision win over Al Iaquinta, Cerrone is now fast approaching a pivotal contender clash. His opponent? The aforementioned Ferguson, a former Interim Champion that’s won eleven straight. This mouth-watering affair takes place at UFC 238 on June 8th but incredibly, it only came to fruition just weeks ago, under a month prior to fight night. For Cerrone, the potential fight left him with a simple decision to make but on the other hand, ‘Cowboy’ sensed some apprehension on Ferguson’s part.
“There wasn't really any convincing that had to go on (for me)," Cerrone explained to MMA Junkie. "More or less the UFC called me and asked me if I wanted to fight and I said yes, then it took two or three days for Tony to agree to the fight, which really pissed me off because the UFC called me and offered to me and left me in his limbo . . . Tony took long figuring it out."
“I don’t think he wanted to have to fight again other than a title fight,” Cerrone suggested. I think he believes he deserves a shot, so for him fighting someone like me is super dangerous. Why would he want to put himself at risk of (losing) a title shot?”
Nonetheless, Ferguson has done exactly that and on June 8th, the Lightweight title picture is likely to become even clearer. With a unification title bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier likely headed for UFC 242, this fight is almost certain to provide the next challenger after that. In Cerrone's mind, that element doesn't even require discussion.
“I don’t even think UFC needs to say that, because this would be it. There would be nobody else,” Cerrone said. “I beat Tony; I get the title (shot). There’s no one else in line.”
UFC 238 takes place in Chicago, Illinois on June 8th. The event's full card can be found below:
UFC Bantamweight Championship
Henry Cejudo (14-2) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-5-1)
UFC Women's Flyweight Championship
Valentina Shevchenko (16-3) (c) vs. Jessica Eye (14-6, 1NC)
Tatiana Suarez (7-0) vs. Nina Ansaroff (10-5)
Katlyn Chookagian (11-2) vs. Joanne Calderwood (13-3)
Tai Tuivasa (8-1) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (17-2, 1NC)
Angela Hill (9-6) vs. Yan Xiaonan (10-1, 1NC)
Ricardo Lamas (19-7) vs. Calvin Kattar (19-3)
Jimmie Rivera (22-3) vs. Petr Yan (12-1)
Aljamain Sterling (17-3) vs. Pedro Munhoz (18-3, 1NC)
Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-4) vs. Alexa Grasso (10-2)
Eddie Wineland (23-13-1) vs. Grigory Popov (13-1)