Six months following their fight of the year performance at WEC 43, lightweight champion Benson Henderson and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone are one week away from doing it all over again at WEC 48, except this time the bout will air live on Pay-Per-View.
However, one fighter in the WEC 155-lbs division does not feel that Cerrone has done much to warrant a third title shot. WEC lightweight and UFC veteran Alex Karalexis recently spoke with Heavy.com and expressed his frustrations regarding Cerrone.
“What has “Cowboy” done? This is going to be his third title loss if he loses. To me, he hasn’t made a name for himself as far as he hasn’t beaten anyone that he wasn’t supposed to beat,” Karalexis said. “All he’s done so far is his job. What, because the guy walks around with his cowboy hat on and has that TapouT deal and they promote him?”
“[Cerrone] hasn’t impressed me. Just because he’s good at taking a beating, like, I don’t get it. I’m confused. He’s talented, he’s a good fighter and he brings it, so I know why the fans like him. I enjoy watching him fight, but I’m sitting here watching him get all these title shots and I’m thinking why? Just because he’s beating kids he’s supposed to beat? Maybe I’m old school,” Karalexis said with a chuckle.
After a one-year hiatus due to injuries, Karalexis (1-2 UFC, 4-2 WEC) will also be competing at WEC 48 against Anthony Pettis on the preliminary card that will air live on Spike TV. The Boston native acknowledges Cerrone’s toughness, but does not believe “Cowboy” should be receiving multiple opportunities when others who have been working just as hard and have not been granted one.
“He’s got to do something, I mean, how many opportunities is this kid going to get?” Karalexis said. “He better win this fight. If he doesn’t, what are they going to do with him? He’s lost three title fights! I’ve been here for how long and I haven’t even gotten one.”
Cerrone’s losses to Jamie Varner and Henderson were close bouts in which Cerrone displayed tremendous heart - but they were still defeats. “Cowboy” followed both of those losses up with submission victories over James Krause and Ed Ratcliff, but Karalexis is not impressed.
“It’s like dude you lost two [expletive] title fights, you got beat both times. What’s your claim to fame? You beat up a washed up Rob McCullough? Where’s Rob now? So, it’s like know your role and don’t walk around like a [expletive] bad ass because you haven’t done anything yet,” Karalexis said.
One would think that Karalexis will be paying close attention to the championship fight this Saturday considering his potential victory over Pettis would steer him in the right direction for a coveted lightweight title shot. That isn’t necessarily the case as Karalexis is not entirely concerned about getting to the title. In fact, so long as he is getting paid, the heavy-handed striker would be willing to fight the Cerrone/Henderson winner in a non-title affair.
“I couldn’t care less how [the Cerrone/Henderson] fight is going to go, I’ll smack up either one of them. Title fight, non-title fight, I don’t give a [expletive], just whatever,” Karalexis said. “That’s the point where I’m at right now. I will fight the champion in a non-title bout; let’s go back to the old WWF style. With the way the economy is, I’m just happy to have a [expletive] job right now. I’ll take the title money but you can keep your [expletive] belt.”
If Karalexis defeats Pettis, and Cerrone comes up short against Henderson, we could see the Bostonian step into the cage with “Cowboy” sooner rather than later.
“I’ve got my hands full with Pettis and I am not looking past him, but “Cowboy” is a punk, so whatever [expletive] him. I’ve been [expletive] steady Eddie for six years in the UFC and the WEC so I think it’s [expletive] funny when I see these new kids thinking they’re all that,” Karalexis said.
“I’ve been in this game a long [expletive] time and you’ll never see me walking around bumping up my chest like ‘Oh I’m king [expletive] [expletive].” I’ve had some good fights and I’ve had some bad losses, but I’ve always just stayed the course and just fought. I’ve never tried to promote myself with some stupid gimmick. I’ve never dyed my [expletive] hair or gotten a stupid [expletive] tattoo or wore the same [expletive] shirt at every event. I’m just me.”
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