UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone suffered the first strike-based stoppage of his career in January when Anthony Pettis finished him off in the opening round of action. As devastating as the series of shots putting Cerrone away may have been, they weren’t nearly as bad as the damage the defeat did to the 30-year old’s immediate hopes of a title-shot.

The loss was the second in Cerrone’s last four fights and ultimately caused him to re-examine the way he’d been approaching his career. Now on the cusp of challenging K.J. Noons at UFC 160, “Cowboy” feels like a new man thanks to some work he’s done on both his body and mind.

Cerrone told MMAFighting”¦

“It's like, I don't know if it's the camera or the pressure, but I've got to figure that out. Whatever makes me fight hard to get there, and then I seem to, like, fold under pressure. I don't know. I'm tryin' to [figure it out]. I got a new sports psychologist tryin' to work those kinks out.”

“I'm tryin' to take a different approach, a different angle, and work on my weight. I think my weight might be a problem, comin' in so heavy. Right now I'm 174, so I feel great. Staying light.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

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