In an alternate world, perhaps Donald Cerrone might not have been matched up with Mike Perry at UFC Denver, and perhaps the public and acrimonious split between Cerrone and JacksonWink co-founder Mike Winkeljohn would have never happened.
But that is in fact how things went down, with Cerrone, one of the famed Albuquerque gym’s longest-standing members, leaving the gym, and Perry, a newcomer, staying with the gym.
So as the heated welterweight matched on Saturday night’s main card draws near, Cerrone isn’t in the mood to play what-if games.
“This fight’s happening,” Cerrone said at Thurday’s UFC Denver media day. “You mean, in terms of where I could still be at the gym and where this never would have happened? … It happened, it didn’t, and Winkeljohn drew his line in the sand. And now I get to spit on him on the other side. It’s alright.”
In case that wasn’t clear enough, the longtime contender punctuated his point.
“F*ck him,” Cerrone said. “There’s your clickbait, motherf*ckers. F*ck you, Winkeljohn.”
Cerrone, who now bases his camp at his BMF Ranch outside the city, says he’s able to separate Perry from his beef with Winkeljohn. Perry’s just an opponent, as far as he’s concerned.
“My fight’s with Perry it has nothing to do with Wink,” Cerrone said. “That’s outside drama it won’t even come into play on Saturday. Right now you’re bringing this out of me. I’ll see him Saturday, but my opponent is Perry. Perry has nothing to do with the drama going on or any of that.”
All that aside, Cerrone is glad simply to be a part of Saturday’s show. The fight will represent Cerrone’s 40th walk to the cage in his combined WEC and UFC time, and the Colorado native is appreciative of making that walk in his hometown and the city in which the UFC came to be.
“On such a historic night, this is the 25th anniversary. It’s cool man, it means a lot to me to be on this card. They don’t get any easier. This is your 40th walk, you’re going to be cruising down, you’d think it’s going to be easier. Nah, you’re still going to be sweating bullets, faking it until you’re making it. That’s for damn sure.