The day UFC president Dana White is telling you NOT to take a fight, is the day you've become a crazy person.
That day has come for Donald Cerrone. Less than 48 hours after a win over Myles Jury at UFC 182 on Saturday, Cerrone (25-6) accepted a short-notice fight against Ben Henderson on Jan. 18 in Boston. He replaces Eddie Alvarez, who was forced to withdraw at the last minute.
Thanks a to a six-fight winning streak, Cerrone is on the cusp of a lightweight title shot. A fight against Henderson -- a man who has defeated him twice -- on less than two weeks' notice is a major risk.
Even White -- promoter, maker of big fights -- felt inclined to tell "Cowboy" to maybe think about this one before saying yes.
"I was midway home [from Las Vegas], driving in the RV [when White called]," Cerrone said. "He said, 'Hey man, I don't really want you to take this fight, but I've got an opportunity.'
"It's just a dangerous fight. Dana's like, 'I think you should take some time off, but I'm not telling you to take time off.' He talked to me like a friend."
There was nothing to think about for Cerrone, though. He doesn't demand fights every month to create headlines, he says. He does it because he actually wants to fight every month (or in this case, twice a month).
"My best friend was driving the RV and said, 'F--- yeah, we're taking that fight,'" Cerrone said. "And I said, 'Yeah.' That's how it went.
"I tried to take a Jim Miller fight in the same amount of time. When I fought in Orlando [in April], we drove the RV to Baltimore [the next week]. Miller fought somebody [on short notice] but I was like, 'I'll fight Jim Miller. I'm good.' My mentality is the same."
Cerrone, 31, says he will keep his prefight ritual of driving his RV to the event -- despite the crunched schedule. He said during a conference call on Tuesday that the drive from New Mexico to Boston would take "one day, nine hours."
He fought Henderson (21-4) twice when they were both in the WEC. Henderson won the first meeting by unanimous decision in October 2009. They fought again for the WEC lightweight title six months later. Henderson submitted Cerrone in less than two minutes.
"It's been a long time coming," said Cerrone, on the third meeting. "Whether people were talking about it or not, in my mind, we were going to cross paths again. I thought it was going to be for a belt, but here it is on 10 days' notice. Even better. No time to think. No time to worry. Just let reactions take over and fight."