Donald Cerrone can nonetheless really feel the agony that was connected to his first profession loss by strikes. At UFC 249, he will get the possibility to numb that ache.

Cerrone’s first knockout loss in MMA competitors got here courtesy of a devastating Anthony Pettis physique kick lower than three minutes into their bout at UFC on FOX 6 in January 2013. It was a key matchup for the light-weight division on the time, and now greater than seven years later, the pair run it again at UFC 249.

A lot has modified for the reason that preliminary conflict. There’s been many highs and lows for Cerrone (36-14 MMA, 23-11 UFC) and Pettis (22-10 MMA, 9-9 UFC) over time, they usually’ll enter the rematch – contested at welterweight – on dropping skids. For “Cowboy,” the chance to actual revenge is motivating.

“He kicked my liver out of my physique (in our first battle),” Cerrone instructed MMA Junkie. “It sucked. After all you all the time wish to get a loss again, but it surely’s simply stylistically a superb matchup. It’s a superb battle with good enjoyable. It’s a battle the folks wish to see.”

UFC 249 takes place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Area in Jacksonville, Fla. Cerrone vs. Pettis headlines the prelims, which air on ESPN and ESPN+, previous to the pay-per-view fundamental card.

The occasion is the UFC’s first for the reason that coronavirus pandemic triggered the promotion to droop all occasions in early April. The cardboard has been ever-changing from its unique April 18 model, and Cerrone’s battle was one of many later provides. Unsurprisingly, although, he jumped on the supply.

“The UFC talked concerning the ‘Struggle Island’ and I put out a put up like, ‘Man, I’ll battle on ‘Struggle Island,’” Cerrone stated. “They requested if I used to be severe. I stated yeah. Then they requested if I may battle within the U.S. and I stated sure. It didn’t take a lot convincing to get me to battle. They known as and that was that.”

Forward of the primary battle there was nice stress between Cerrone and Pettis. This time, although, it’s a lot completely different. The pair has fashioned a bond in recent times, Cerrone stated, by each coaching collectively and spending private time.

Cerrone described Pettis as “100 p.c my pal” and stated they “speak on a regular basis,” however he’ll gladly set the connection apart for as much as 15 minutes in favor of enterprise.

It’s an necessary battle for Cerrone, who enters the occasion on a three-fight dropping skid, which is tied for the longest of his profession. His defeats got here to elite names in Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson, however that doesn’t make them sting any much less.

Cerrone needs to get again on observe, and he thinks the circumstances make UFC 249 an atmosphere the place he can thrive.

“I’m going on the market on the lookout for a win,” Cerrone stated. “Three losses is the worst factor I’ve ever accomplished. It’s such a loopy and wild sport, the ups and the downs. That is my wheelhouse. Brief-notice fights. I wish to win. Exit and there and do what I do. I’m excited for this battle and for this matchup.”