Cerrone has worked his way into a title shot, thanks to an impressive, eight fight winning streak, which includes wins over top tier talent like Jim Miller, Edson Barboza, Myles Jury and Benson Henderson (yes, some believe the latter won the scrap). The run, in fact, began after Cerrone dropped a unanimous decision loss to dos Anjos back in 2013.
After Cerrone faltered in several pivotal fights in the past, questions were raised as to whether the Jackson-Wink MMA fighter would ever take the title. But, as a result of what Cerrone’s accomplished in 2014 and 2015, his coach Greg Jackson told the Three Amigos Podcast the following (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“I think when Donald turns on his mental game, which he’s finally done, it’s really hard to beat him. Obviously, we have a game plan, and we’re looking for specific things, but Cowboy has always been his own biggest opponent. He’s a slow starter, it takes him a little while to get going, but when he goes out there and just flips the switch and just goes for it, that’s when he’s the best. Half of my coaching for him is just yelling at him to go out there and get the guy. I would say he’s turned a corner. It’s Donald’s time.”
It’s going to be fascinating to see what goes down at UFC on FOX 17. While Cerrone has been turning heads as of late, so has dos Anjos. Not too many people were predicting RDA would do what he did to Anthony Pettis in March, and the only man to defeat him since 2011, is Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The betting lines currently have Cerrone as a +225 to +250 underdog heading into the bout.