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The man with the most wins in UFC history says he's 'waiting' on McGregor

Donald Cerrone has seemingly got his sights set on Conor McGregor after his record-setting win on Saturday.

PA-17442405 Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone. Source: Neil Davidson/The Canadian Press/PA Images

DONALD ‘COWBOY’ CERRONE (34-11) has hinted that he’ll be the man in the opposite corner when Conor McGregor (21-4) returns to the UFC’s octagon.

With his first-round submission of Mike Perry in Denver last weekend, Cerrone overtook Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping by setting a new record for UFC wins — 21.

Afterwards, the American veteran — who has been competing as a welterweight for the past three years — claimed that the UFC have already proposed a big fight for a return to the lightweight division. He told reporters:

“It’s exciting. The guy’s very exciting. You’ll like it. You’ll all like it.”

Although Cerrone refused to mention the name of the opponent at the time, he appeared to imply that a fight with McGregor is in the works on social media this morning. In an Instagram post, Cerrone said he’s “just waiting on” the Dubliner.

Prior to McGregor’s featherweight and lightweight title successes, the pair traded barbs on a number of occasions when a match-up seemed a distinct possibility.

Speaking to The42 in December 2015, Cerrone said: “I want that payday. The son of a bitch draws people and he talks well. That would be a huge payday for me. He’s a salesman and he does a really good job of it.

“I don’t have a personal problem with Conor but if he starts saying personal things to me then we’ll figure it the fuck out. I’ll slap his ass and call him a little schoolgirl.”

However, their careers have since moved in different directions. A couple of weeks after he made those comments, Cerrone had an eight-fight win streak snapped when he lost via first-round TKO to then-champion Rafael dos Anjos in a lightweight title bout.

Thereafter, Cerrone moved up to welterweight and went on a 4-0 run in 2016 by recording stoppage victories over Alex Oliveira, Patrick Cote, Rick Story and Matt Brown. However, his progress through the 170-pound division ground to a halt last year when he suffered defeats to Jorge Masvidal, Robbie Lawler and Darren Till.

The 35-year-old bounced back by overcoming Yancy Medeiros in February of this year. He then emerged on the wrong side of a decision against Leon Edwards in June, before returning to winning ways at Mike Perry’s expense on Saturday.

While Cerrone’s overtures about a potential clash with McGregor have certainly got tongues wagging, it’s not unlikely that ‘Cowboy’ is merely attempting to drum up hype for what would be a lucrative bout in the twilight of his career.

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UFC president Dana White has insisted on several occasions recently that McGregor’s next move won’t be decided upon until his case with the Nevada State Athletic Commission has been resolved.

Both McGregor and lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov are facing possible fines and suspensions as a result of the melee that occurred in the aftermath of Nurmagomedov’s resounding win in last month’s fight in Las Vegas. A disciplinary hearing is scheduled to take place on 10 December.

McGregor has said that while his preference is for a rematch with Nurmagoemdov, he’s also willing to face “the next in line” in his bid to regain the lightweight title.

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Paul Dollery

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