Cerrone details how he goes from ‘Donald’ to ‘Cowboy’ on UFC Fight Night

When we watch someone be brave enough to fight as often as Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone does, at the highest level in the UFC, it can be easy to imagine that he’s gotten over a natural fear of fighting. On Sunday night, after all, Cerrone will fight former champ Benson Henderson in a bout that the former bull rider practically begged to take on short notice, after fighting and winning just two weeks ago.

In a revealing new video interview with UFC From All Angles, however, Cerrone opens up and gives fans insight into exactly the many things he still fears as the hours and minutes and moments tick away before each and every fight of his. Even after over thirty professional fights, the 31 year-old admits that adrenaline and nerves can take over his body and play tricks on his mind, leading up to a UFC fight.

"Damn, I’m about to fight in front of millions of people. It’s insane…I’ve got my mom, my grandma, my girlfriend, her family, all the people I’ve met, my training partners, in their mind, ‘Cowboy’ is going to fight and he’s going to beat this dude’s ass. There’s already, like, a giant standard up there that I’m going to go out there and compete well," he says in the above intimate interview.

"It’s a lot of pressure. So, you’re back there, you’re warming up, your arms are heavy, your legs are weak, you’re like, ‘What? Why do I feel like this?’"

Once he’s in the Octagon, and waiting for the referee to start the fight, Cerrone says he transforms into the "Cowboy" that has fought so well over the years. In those final moments before fighting, all the fear turns into urgency, and a desperate desire to compete once more.

"When I’m standing in that cage, I’m thinking, ‘ring the bell [expletive]. It’s about to go on.’ Like, that’s what is going on in my mind. All of it is done. All the hard work, all the miles I’ve run, all the times I’ve puked, all the times of pushing your body to the point where you can’t push any further, is done. It’s time to go to work, and that to me, is what it is all about…There’s nothing in the world that can touch that feeling."