PRO MMA Exclusive: a chat with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

by: Denny “The Mad One” Hodge

On Wednesday Sept.10, 2008 the WEC will be holding an event at the Seminole Hotel & Casino in Florida which air live on the VERSUS network. The card is headlined by featherweight champion Urijah Faber defending his title against Mike Brown. However, there is another fight on the card which could very well steal the show and that is when “Razor” Rob McCullough gets into the cage with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

Many people will remember Cerrone from his appearance on the TAPOUT reality show that airs on VERSUS. The episode featured Cerrone in a fight against Anthony Njokuani where he won via triangle choke in the first round. The very interesting paradox is the fact that quick submission finishes have been a recurring theme in the career of Cowboy who is actually more known for his muay thai and kickboxing skills.

PRO MMA was able to speak with the Cowboy this week to find out more about this rising star and his upcoming fight with former WEC lightweight champion, Rob McCullough:

PRO MMA: Donald, I’ve read that you’ve been training all over the U.S., was that a new strategy for Rob, or something that you have adapted to improve your training?
COWBOY: I have no new strategy for Rob!! I travel around and try to work with the best people in the specific areas in which I’m training.

PRO MMA: You are undefeated in MMA at 10-0-1 and fans have gotten to see you showcase your sub game, but you are also undefeated as a kickboxer correct?
COWBOY: Yes, I am 22-0-1 as a kickboxer.

PRO MMA: Your kickboxing background really helps you matchup with Rob standing, but what we’ve seen of you on the ground it seems that you have an advantage if the fight goes to the ground. Do you feel like you are more well rounded than Rob is?
COWBOY: I’m exctied to stand with Rob, our stand up will match up well… If the fight goes to the ground?

PRO MMA: You were very impressive on the Tapout show, how is your relationship with the crew these days?
COWBOY: The Tapout crew and I are still very close. Mask and Scrape call me frequently to check and make sure everything’s good!!

PRO MMA: We learned a little about you on the show, but can you talk about how you got your start in MMA?
COWBOY: I was a kickboxer training all the time .. Kickboxing! Then Sven Bean called and offered me good money to take a MMA fight on the Ring Of Fire, the top show in the midwest! I had one month to learn a ground game so it was off to Vail, Colorado where I had 3-a-day privates with my jiu-jitsu instructor, Carlos Carlvaho.

PRO MMA: I know your not looking past Rob but a victory over him would likely put you in line for a title shot. What are your feelings on this?
COWBOY: I’m definately not looking past Rob. He is a world class striker. So my feeling about a title shot? Well, let me worry about Rob first.

PRO MMA: If you were to get a shot at Varner, how do you think you would match up with him and what would you bring to the cage that either Rob or Marcus was unable to capitalize on?
COWBOY: I’ll answer that after Rob.

PRO MMA: With your stand up game being well documented and your slick jiu jitsu skills, what is an area that you feel you could improve on?
COWBOY: Wrestling.

PRO MMA: You seem very comfortable on your feet or on the ground. Do you have a preference as to where the fight ends up?
COWBOY: No, I feel strong in both areas.

PRO MMA: Donald, thanks for spending some time talking with us here at PRO MMA. Is there anything you would like to add, any sponsors to thank, or any shout outs for anyone?
COWBOY: I would like to thank Tapout and all the guys helping me train for this fight… Roger, Leonard , Tom Watson, Greg Jackson, Jason Field and all the guys down at Jackson and Inyodo.

To view more photos and learn more about the Cowboy, check out his MySpace page.
To view the full WEC fight card for September 10, check out www.wec.tv.

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