After a tough loss to Vicente Luque at UFC 249 that came about as a result of an eye injury, Niko Price returns to action this weekend at UFC Vegas 11.And despite the loss last time out, career-wise, he’s actually moved forward. Saturday night, he finds himself in the co-main event opposite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
Sure, it’s a Cerrone that’s currently on a four-fight losing streak. But few fighters in the UFC have as much brand recognition as Cowboy. And a win over Cerrone still matters. Even in 2020, even at welterweight.
Price (14-4, 1NC) isn’t paying any mind to Cerrone’s recent record. “I don’t take account of that, because you never know what he did for this fight. Maybe for this fight, he got it back together, and he’s coming here as a whole new man,” suggested “The Hybrid.” With that in mind, he added that “I looked through all his fights, I looked at the best fights, the best Cerrone, and I’m taking it as that guy’s coming on Saturday.”
The best Cerrone — or any other version, for that matter — brings “experience” noted Price. “He’s a veteran of the game, he’s a maverick of the game. He’s one of the first superstars of the sport. He’s been around since the WEC and stuff. I’ve been watching him my whole career.”
Still, while Cerrone and his team feel Cowboy is ready to get back in the win column, Price has other plans. “He can be as ready as he wants, but no one’s seen the best me yet. So I’m coming hard.”
Fans were worked up at the news of Cerrone vs. Price. It’s a fight with two guys known for bringing that action, after all. As a professional, that’s something you have to put aside, but Price admits that when the pair were first booked, he was amped up as well.
“Now it’s another night of work for me,” he stated. But “when I first got the news, I was super excited too. I just had to bring it back down to letting myself know that he’s another fighter, and when we get in there, I’m going to hit him like just another man.”
UFC Vegas 11 takes place this Saturday, September 19 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event airs live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada).