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Cerrone apologizes to Ratcliff's mother
Postfight press report

Cageside by Anthony Springer Jr.
Photos courtesy of Josh Hodges, UFC

WEC 46: Cerrone vs. Ratcliff contained no title fights, and none of the superstars the WEC has been known for.

Yet, after “Cowboy” and “9MM” slugged it out for three hard fought rounds, WEC general manager Reed Harris couldn’t have been happier.

Harris called the event “one of the best nights in my entire career of [promoting fights].” Given the quality of the fights in the cage, and the class displayed away from it, Harris has much to be proud of.

Take Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone for instance. His main event fight may be best remembered for his three low blows on Ed “9MM” Ratcliff. Those present will likely remember a brief exchange between Cerrone and Ratcliff’s mother as the karate fighter doubled over in pain from inadvertent knees. The heat of the moment can bring out the worst in some competitors, but when Cerrone was verbally confronted by the less than thrilled mother, what did he do?

The only thing a wise man would do in that situation—he apologized.

“I was telling her I was sorry, I’m not doing this intentionally,” Cerrone revealed at the post fight press conference. “I went and talked to her after the fight and told her it wasn’t intentional.”

Ratcliff, to his credit was also not angry about the low blows, calling it “a part of the game.”

“It was the heat of the moment. I know it wasn’t intentional.”

With potential bad blood put to rest, Cerrone opened up, revealing a fighter that hasn’t quite gotten it all figured out yet. Of his immediate bull rush of Ratcliff in the opening moments of the fight, “Cowboy” says he wasn’t sure what he planned to do after rushing in.

“When I got to the end of the charge, I didn’t know [what I was going to do],” Cerrone said of his strategic plan. “The game plan was to start quick and charge. I got to the end of the charge and thought, ‘I guess I’ll just grab him.’”

With an arguable title shot on the line, conventional wisdom says Cerrone would’ve come into the fight serious. Cerrone says he was anything but.

“I was out there having fun,” Cerrone said. “I knew I was losing the fight, but I didn’t care, I was having a good time.”

Cerrone experienced déjà vu. His title fight with Jamie Varner was halted after he hit the current champion with an illegal knee. Watching Ratcliff struggle to recover from the low blows brought back memories of a premature stoppage, but “Cowboy” reveals that he didn’t care if the fight was stopped or not—it was still all about the fun. Even Cerrone’s coach, Greg Jackson, couldn’t get him to be serious.

“Greg [Jackson] told me, ‘they’re taking a point, but you won the round, I need you to go out and win this one.’ I wasn’t really worried about winning, I was just going out and having fun.

In many ways, the headlining bout with Ratcliff saw Cerrone mature in that three round time span. After losing a point in each of the two rounds due to low knees, Cerrone didn’t ease up on his opponent, or stop throwing knees.

“As you could tell, I was letting them rip still,” he said when asked if he was hesitant to throw knees after the deductions. “I don’t know how I kept catching him in the groin. But it didn’t change anything, I was just trying to knee his body.”

Cerrone and Ratcliff also earned Fight of the Night honors.



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