AUSTIN, Texas – Donald Cerrone’s got a number in mind, and he’ll inch closer to it Saturday.

Cerrone wants to hit 50 fights combined in the UFC and WEC, and after that, he’ll hang up his gloves. At UFC on ESPN 37 on Saturday, Cerrone (36-16 MMA, 23-13 UFC) takes on Joe Lauzon (28-15 MMA, 15-12 UFC) in a bout delayed after Cerrone fell ill on fight day in early May.

By Cerrone’s count, Saturday’s fight will be his 48th combined in the UFC and WEC – though there may need to be a couple asterisks thrown in there. One of his fights in the WEC and one in the UFC are on the record books as no contests. He made the walks, and he fought the fights, but his official record only will show 46 total – nine in the WEC and 37 in the UFC – after Saturday.

Still, the point isn’t lost: 50 walks to the cage at the highest level is plenty.

“This is (48), so two more after this one (and I can retire),” Cerrone said at Wednesday’s media day in Austin, Texas. “Fifty is an incredible number. Hopefully no one will touch it so I can bow out.”

Cerrone said he’d like to close his career against someone in his caliber from a name recognition and longevity standpoint, like Lauzon. He’d prefer that to an up-and-coming fighter.

“Another legend (for my final fight) would be fun – a cool fight,” he said. “I’ll stay away from the young kids. They’re f*cking tough. They’re so good. This sport has evolved unbelievably. … I remember when first came in this sport, you could be good at a couple of (disciplines) and great at one. Now it’s like you have to be great at striking, wrestling, jiu-jitsu – everything. And these new kids that are coming in are great at everything.”

Cerrone is mired in the worst skid of his career. He has five straight losses, though they’ve come to some of the most elite fighters in the game: Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor, Anthony Pettis and Alex Morono.

He’s a slight favorite against Lauzon. A win would be his first in more than three years. But no matter the result, he’ll keep pushing toward that magic number he knows will be hard for anyone else to break.

“When I walk out there Saturday, I’m setting records again,” Cerrone said. “The only thing cooler than setting records is breaking your own. It’s a cool feeling. (I’m just) setting so many that the young kids have got a hell of a job to try to catch me.”

UFC on ESPN 37 takes place Saturday at Moody Center in Austin, Texas. The card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.

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