Donald Cerrone makes peace with Mike Perry before UFC Denver but won't forgive Mike Winkeljohn

DENVER – Mike Perry isn’t the enemy of Donald Cerrone.

Perry (12-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) might have been the catalyst for a feud with Jackson Wink MMA, but Cerrone (33-11 MMA, 20-8 UFC) doesn’t fault his upcoming opponent for the sequence of events that prompted his departure from the famed MMA gym.

“He’s just doing what a fighter would do going to a gym,” Cerrone, who faces Perry in the FS1-televised co-headliner of UFC Fight Night 139, told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “It’s the rest of it that is (expletive) to me.”

Cerrone places the blame squarely on the gym’s co-founder, Mike Winkeljohn, who will corner Perry for Saturday’s fight at Pepsi Center.

“It just came down to the money,” Cerrone told MMAjunkie. “Mike Winkeljohn is solely about the money, and it’s (expletive) to say that.”

Perry’s move to the Albuquerque, N.M., gym preceded a confrontation between Cerrone and Winkeljohn. Cerrone indicated the coach was disingenuous about his stance on a potential fight with Perry and chose financial reward over team loyalty.

“I talked to Wink as a man, face to face, and everything was fine,” Cerrone said. “I explained it, and he was like, ‘Oh, I thought you called Perry out,’ and blah blah blah. I was like, ‘No, it was actually the other way around. He wanted to fight me.’

“Next morning he calls me on the phone like, ‘Well, I thought about it, and not taking Perry means I don’t get paid. I was like, ‘You don’t get paid? What are you talking about?’ On the phone he called me, like a (expletive) girl. And he’s like, ‘So we’re going to go ahead and go with him.’ And I said, ‘Yep, you just drew the line in the sand, man. If I catch you again, (expletive), I’ll see ya.’”

After the feud went public, Cerrone said his phone lit up with fighters wanting to help him prepare for Perry. Several of them were veterans of Jackson Wink.

Now, Cerrone dismisses the possibility of making peace with the coach. He trains full time at the BMF ranch facility he built several years ago as an alternate to Jackson Wink.

With a new baby, Cerrone said he’s let go of his past. But he expects Perry will try to run a strategy well known by his former team.

“The thing that sucks is he knows all the traits, like he’s going to try and be (expletive) toward me to get in my head to get me to fight angry,” Cerrone said. “But those years are way (expletive) gone on me, so he can try. I’m just going to laugh and shake his hand.”

And whether he gets knocked out or delivers a crushing blow to Perry, Cerrone will accept the result and move on.

For more on UFC Fight Night 139, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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