UFC Vancouver: Cowboy Cerrone Reacts to Fighting “Buddy” Gaethje, Possibility of Conor Cutting the Line

Cowboy Cerrone was high on opponent Justin Gaethje’s attributes both in and outside of the cage Thursday, shocked at the possibility that Tony Ferguson could be passed over for Khabib fight.

Vancouver, BC — For the second time in a matter of months, Cowboy Cerrone is headlining a UFC card in Canada. Of course, nestled between his appearance in Ottawa back in May, and the upcoming UFC Vancouver, Cerrone (36–12 (1)) saw an unfortunate end to his fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 238 play out.

That bout ended after a broken nose suffered by Cowboy, made worse when the fighter tried to blow it to clear it out. Now, he’s tasked with facing Justin Gaethje in Vancouver, a fighter he considers a friend.

“He’s like my buddy,” Cowboy told media outlets including Cageside Press at Thursday’s media day. “What a  solid dude. His family, his dad.”

Donald Cerrone (though who calls him anything but Cowboy?) actually caught up with Gaethje’s dad in the parking lot of the host hotel. The pair exchanged pleasantries, and that, suggested Cowboy, is always a good sign. “If you have a good family, good parents, you’re usually a good kid. If I can shake your dad’s hand, look him in the eye, or [say] like ‘let’s go get some beers Saturday night,’ it’s like, oh yeah.”

“He’s just a cool dude, but his style in insane. He comes to leave it all on the line, which is going to make for one hell of a fight,” Cerrone continued. “It’s going to be awesome.”

In style, it might be similar to the Tony Ferguson fight. Both fighters coming out guns blazing. Although Cowboy pointed out he was more friendly with Justin than Tony. Gaethje and Cerrone, mind you, have trained together in the past. “I never had that like, alliance with [Ferguson].”

The thrill-seeking Cerrone had a chance to go biking down nearby Whistler mountain during fight week. “I couldn’t come all the way out here and not ride one of the greatest mountains in the world,” he exclaimed, calling it Disney Land for adults. Cerrone admitted, however, that he has slowed a step in terms of his high-flying, adventure junkie ways. “It’s lack of energy is what it is. The older I get, the harder it is to make 55.”

One thing that does not thrill Cerrone is the idea of Conor McGregor cutting the line at lightweight. Cerrone feels a win over Gaethje should put him in line for a shot at the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Ferguson. He said as much at Wednesday’s open workouts.

Asked about the Conor situation a day later, Cerrone answered with a question of his own. “Do you think he comes back though? I mean damn, it’s been a lot of talk, a lot of years.”

For Cerrone, Conor’s not on his radar either, as he added “so to me, chasing that is not even worth it anymore. Either sh*t or get off the pot.”

Other than that, there’s no one else. So should Ferguson be the one who gets the next lightweight title shot?

“Hell yeah. Given the dude his dues.” However, Cowboy Cerrone mistakenly believed Khabib vs. Ferguson had been announced. Told Conor could be in the mix, Cowboy reacted by saying “wow. That would be tough for Tony to swallow. Wow. He deserves it, for sure.

Watch the full UFC Vancouver (UFC Fight Night 158) media day press scrum with Cowboy Cerrone above!