LAS VEGAS – Donald Cerrone is enjoying some of the new blood in the UFC.
Cerrone, a seasoned veteran of more than 14 years, is a fan of one of the hottest rising prospects in the promotion, Khamzat Chimaev. The two will share a card together this Saturday, as Cerrone meets Niko Price in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN+ 36, while Chimaev is set to take on Gerald Meerschaert right before.
The fight against Meerschaert will be Chimaev’s third UFC bout after he won twice last month in a span of 10 days. UFC president Dana White already has said that Chimaev will fight Demian Maia after this, which is rare that a fighter would be committed to two fights.
Cerrone, who’s known for fighting frequently, is not at all jealous of Chimaev and instead tipped his cap to him Thursday.
“I’m not irritated,” Cerrone told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the UFC on ESPN+ 36 news conference. “I like this son of a (explicit). He’s got a good attitude. He wants to fight everybod. He’s crazy. I like the, ‘I’ll smash him, I’ll smash him, I’ll smash him.’ (Explicit), with that mind set you better be smashing everybody, so I like it.
“In my fights, I just don’t smash people. I get beat up sometimes. I’ve tried. I’ve told Dana, and he’s like, ‘We have to see how it goes,’ so who knows? But I’m not upset. He’s got it going.”
Both Cerrone and Chimaev were very friendly while seated next to each other throughout the news conference. Even the 26-year-old Chimaev returned a compliment in his own way.
“You’re a legend, brother. I have to smash you,” he said with a laugh.