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Donald Cerrone: Rocha’s A Monster On The Ground, But He Has To Get Me There

Perennial Fight of the Night winner Donald Cerrone will look to make it four in a row this weekend at UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin when he takes on UFC newcomer Vagner Rocha.

“Cowboy” spoke with recently about what he expects from the 6-1 Brazilian — who stepped up on a month’s notice in an injured Mac Danzig’s stead — in their main card scrap.

“I know he’s a monster on the ground,” said Cerrone. “I’ve watched videos online and he seems to be fantastic in BJJ, I know he’s won Pan Am and World titles. He is extremely dangerous.”

Though he has earned twelve of his fourteen career wins via submission, Cerrone entered into MMA ont he strength of his muay Thai skills, which he has used to great effect en route to amassing his 14-2 record. He told Tatame that he believes his striking will play a major role in this bout against a noted ground specialist.

“He’s never faced anyone like me either,” he said in regards to Rocha’s claim that Cerrone has never faced an opponent like him. “I respect Vagner as an opponent, he’s very dangerous. But he has to get me to the ground first, and stand up is my specialty.”

One of the WEC’s most prominent lightweights, Cerrone made his UFC debut this past February against British standout Paul Kelly, defeating “Tellys” via second round submission. Despite his growing stock in the division, Cerrone will be taking on a dangerous, but relatively unknown fighter who’s making his UFC debut. Despite the fact that some might calls this a lose-lose situation for “Cowboy,” Cerrone himself is just happy to be fighting.

“Any win in the UFC is huge, so this fight will just get me more prepared for my future bouts,” said Cerrone. “I’m young, I’m here to stay. I want to fight whoever is next in line, I know I will be a world champion, but I’m prepared to take all the fights the UFC puts in front of me. There are a lot of guys calling me out right now, so I don’t think I’ll have any issues finding fights. Bring that shit on.”

UFC 131 goes down Saturday night at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia and will feature a main event bout between Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin.