Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has warned future opponent and UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos that fighting him will be “scary”.
Cerrone will challenge Dos Anjos for the title on December 19 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, in what will be their second meeting.
Do Anjos defeated Cerrone by unanimous decision in their first fight in August 2013, but ‘Cowboy’ claims the result will be different this time around.
"Starting slow. That's what I always go out there and do. He capitalized very well. He hit me hard," Cerrone told Inside MMA.
"Maybe starting a little faster. We've got five rounds, man. Cardio is my thing. Five rounds with me is going to be a scary thing for him.
“Hopefully he trains really hard and does what he has to do. I'll be ready. There won't be a question in my mind that I won't be the new lightweight champion."
Cerrone has racked up eight victories in as many bouts since losing to Dos Anjos, defeating top-ranked opposition such as Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, Benson Henderson and Miles Jury.
The New Mexico-based fighter has been calling for a title shot for several months now and says he was forced to step up his negotiations with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and president Dana White by threatening to move up to welterweight.
"I think it did speed up the process. Every day I'd call Joe (Silva) and Dana (White) and say, 'Hey man, if I don't get a fight soon, I'm going to 170’. They'd be like, 'Patience, patience’,” he said.
“Yesterday, I was talking to Joe and I said, 'I had enough, I'm going to 170’. He just goes, 'Just bare with me’. I found out right around the same time ya'll did."
Meanwhile, former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has been granted a rematch against Fabricio Werdum.
Werdum won the interim heavyweight title with a technical knockout win over Mark Hunt at UFC 180 in November 2014 and then claimed the full title when he tapped Velasquez with a guillotine choke in June at UFC 188.
The rematch was announced by the UFC on August 14, but the location and date of the fight will be released at a later stage.