Although he is just hours away from an interim title fight, lightweight Donald Ceronne can’t seem to focus on his WEC 43 opponent, Ben Henderson, as his mind remains focused on the division’s champion. Jaime Varner took a controversial decision over “The Cowboy” at WEC 38 earlier this year, and it’s been eating at Cerrone ever since.
“I wanna fight Jamie on the street corner, [Jaime Varner’s] just a punk bitch, so I don’t really have much respect for the dude,” Cerrone told MMAWeekly.com.
Varner looked impressive in the early rounds of their initial contest, however broke his hand halfway through the scrap which opened the door for Cerrone to take the later rounds.
The fight was stopped in the fifth round due to an unintentional knee to Varner’s head. Under the regulations of the California State Athletic Commission, a fight will automatically go to the score cards when unintentional strikes leave a fighter unable to continue.
Varner took an anti-climactic (49-46, 47-48, 49-46) split decision win.
The rematch was slated for this weekend, however Varner is still on the mend from their war back in January and the organization was forced to manufacture an interim belt.
“I’m excited to get another title shot and like Jamie is saying now, it’s just a ‘glorified second place,’ well then man up and give me a shot in the first place dude, quit hiding behind your broken hand,” Cerrone said of his opportunity while not missing a chance to slight his bitter rival.
Cerrone will meet fellow top contender Ben Henderson in a five round affair tonight inside the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Although it isn’t the title bout that he was dreaming about, it’s still for gold and he’s definitely down.
“I’m excited to fight Ben, though he’s a friend of mine,” Cerrone said. “I’ve got nothing bad to say about the guy and I know he’s not gonna say nothing because he’s gonna want to take me down, for sure.
“I do think Ben is the guy who’s deserving of the shot.”
However, Cerrone will have a significant edge over Henderson in experience as this isn’t his first time headlining a major MMA card. Although Henderson is talented, things tend to change when you are the featured attraction and all of a sudden all eyes are on you.
“I think my first title fight, I was the main event, all those people, cameras following you all over the place – I don’t care who you are, man, the camera in your face, because when you’re the main event, that’s what they do, they put a camera in your face, they follow you around, ‘the day in the life of,’ blah, blah, blah,” Cerrone said of the duties of being a headliner. “That’s a lot of pressure for someone who’s never had it before and for Ben to be coming, he had an undercard fight and then he had a main card fight and now main event, on the poster, commercials running, that’s a lot of added pressure.”
For those of you that don’t have DirecTV, you can catch all of the main bouts live on Versus Network today beginning at 10PM ET/7PM PT.