It turns out a motorcycle did almost cause Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone to miss a fight.
That one merely delayed his highly anticipated welterweight showdown with Robbie Lawler a few weeks was enough to make the Edgewood resident and Jackson-Wink MMA team member agitated enough.
“I’m just as excited as you guys are to finally get this one on,” Cerrone said of the fight on Saturday’s main card of UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif.
It originally was scheduled for UFC 213 before he got pulled due to a staph infection.
The New Mexico mixed martial artist, known as much for his fan-favorite fights as for his extreme sports, Harley Davidson riding and fast living outside of the sport, has never missed a fight due to his extra-curricular activities.
But in June, helping a fellow Harley rider at a local gas station pick up his tipped-over motorcycle, Cerrone burned his leg on the bike. The wound led to an MRSA infection that required 10 days on antibiotics and a delay in the Lawler fight.
Considering Cerrone (32-8) had already been on the shelf for one of the longest stretches in his career — he hasn’t fought since a Jan. 28 loss to Jorge Masvidal — he was starting to get antsy.
But the time off could be a blessing.
“His whole career, he’s fought four or five times a year,” said Brandon Gibson, a striking coach at Jackson-Wink who also does extensive training with Cerrone at the fighter’s Edgewood BMF ranch training facility. “Sometimes that adds up. These training camps are grueling. I’m really happy Cowboy took some time off. He’s rested. We were able to work on some things out of camp, and then when we got to camp, he was already in great shape.”
It will be necessary to beat Lawler (27-11), a former champion who has been in some of the more gruesome UFC fights of recent years.
“They’re going to see two legends throwing down, for sure,” said Cerrone. “It’s going to be fun.”
SIX GUN’S READY, TOO: Gibson, who goes by the nickname “Six Gun,” is already sporting the team’s first battle scar of the week.
During a mitt session on Thursday, Gibson, who will corner both Cerrone and Jon “Bones” Jones in Saturday’s main event, scratched the cornea of his left eye and is now sporting a protective eye patch.
It won’t keep the Albuquerque native from his part in one of the biggest UFC events of the year. He’s using vacation time from his job with the City of Albuquerque to be in Los Angeles this week.
“If I need to corner with one eye, I’ll get it done,” Gibson said. “My voice still works. My mind is still sharp. We’re good.”
Truth is, it’d take a lot for Gibson to miss this one.
“This is probably the biggest coaching night of my career, so I’m looking forward to make those walks with Cowboy and Jon,” Gibson said. “We’ve worked hard, prepared hard and we’re ready to bring two victories back to Albuquerque.”