Diego Sanchez has been asking for a “legends” fight for a while, and was specifically requesting to fight Donald Cerrone for his retirement bout. He did get his wish as the fight has been reportedly finalized for May 8, but “Cowboy” doesn’t think his former teammate deserves that legendary status.
“He says it’s two legends going at it. I don’t think so,” Cerrone said on his YouTube channel (transcript via MMA Fighting). “He talked a lot shit when I left Jackson’s and now he did the same thing and left. It’s funny.
“I was just doing what I had to do. Built my own gym, trained my own people, starting making this mold which I think was the right move to do in my career and he had a lot to say about it,” Cerrone said.
In 2018, Cerrone had a very public falling out with his longtime gym in JacksonWink MMA, specifically with coach Mike Winkeljohn. Cowboy accused the co-owner of ruining the gym culture and turning it into a “puppy mill” to make a quick buck. While many sided with Cowboy, Sanchez specifically sided with Winkeljohn and even asked to fight his longtime training partner because of it.
As Cerrone noted, Sanchez also eventually decided to leave the team about a year later. He aired similar gripes as Cowboy, saying how he doesn’t feel valued anymore and that coaches were just “going through the motions” and focusing on other things.
The former teammates are now set to face off in 2021, but that past issue doesn’t seem to be completely over yet. Cerrone says he’ll enjoy adding Sanchez to his highlight reel.
“He said he wanted to fight me, so here’s his chance. Be careful what you wish for. So yeah, this should be a fun highlight reel fight for me,” Cerrone said.
“I’m not overlooking the kid, by no means. There’s areas where he could be dangerous, and if I was fighting old Diego, 10 years ago, yeah, he was tough. Hard pace. I used to train with the guy. I know,” Cerrone said. “He wants this to be his ride into the sunset, and I have no problem giving it to him.”
Cowboy also stated this fight will just be a one-off at welterweight. He was more than willing to move up and beat his former teammate, but still plans to just “walk in there” at 168-170 lbs, to make a drop back to 155 lbs after easier.
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