For the 10th time in his MMA career Safford native, Justin Gaethje (20-2), finds his name in the Main Event slot. This time he will take on Donald “Cowboys” Cerrone (36-12) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Main Card will air at 5pm Arizona time on ESPN+, which means you will have to have a subscription to watch this fight.
Gaethje spoke with GilaValleyCentral on Wednesday morning on his way to the airport to fly out. “Like I told you last time, every next fight in this business, is my biggest fight ever,” said Gaethje. There are definitely title implications on the line for both fighters in this one. Cerrone is ranked as the #4 lightweight, Gaethje is #5. The winner of the fight will most likely move into the top 3 with a chance at the belt on the horizon.
Gaethje has made short work of his last two opponents. He knocked out James Vick in 86 seconds last August and Edson Barboza in 2:31 in March. One of the biggest criticisms of Gaethje as that he takes too many hits while moving forward. Although he won’t stop that style in the Octagon, he has taken note. “I’ve really focused on not getting hit, said Gaethje.”My overall output has dropped drastically and I’m really picking my shots now. Luckily I punch hard enough to put people to sleep.”
Cerrone is no stranger to taking on the toughest opponents in the UFC, at multiple weight classes. His motto is, “anybody at anytime.” This will be his 4th fight in 2019. Cowboy defeated Alexander Hernandez in January earning him the Fight of the Night bonus. Then on May 4th, Cerrone out lasted Al Iaquinta in a 5 round decision. His latest fight was on June 8th, a loss to now #1 contender Tony Ferguson.
Both fighters know what is at stake.” There is no need to talk about it, I’ll just show it and plus I’d really like to fight the Russian (Kabib Nurmagomedov) before he retires,” said Gaethje. “This sport takes a lot of hard work, a lot of skill and just a little luck.”