It’s hard to imagine the Donald Cerrone who outclassed Jeremy Stephens so thoroughly in the stand-up department on Tuesday night at UFC on Fuel 3 is the same “Cowboy” that Nate Diaz picked apart with strikes in his previous outing. In fact, Cerrone himself would tell you an imposter entered the Octagon last December against Diaz.

Diaz’s dominant decision win still stings when Cerrone thinks about it as he made clear in an interview with Fuel TV shortly after his victory over Stephens.

“That fight’s not in the rear-view,” said Cerrone when asked if his success against Stephens had allowed him to move on from the loss. “No, no…that wasn’t me. I was off, and I’m not making excuses – he was the better man. He looked great in his last fight and my hat’s off to the dude. He’s really turning the career in his career and there’s a bad taste in my mouth. The dude, I really want to fight him. I’m 100% confident I can beat him.”

With Diaz likely sitting out until receiving the title-shot he was promised in beating Jim Miller earlier this month it appears Cerrone will have to wait awhile before a shot at redemption. In the interim he hopes to fight on August 11 at UFC 150 given the event’s proximity to his birthplace in Colorado. While he doesn’t have a specific opponent in mind, he is open to the idea of taking on Anthony Pettis as many fans have called for.

“Yeah, c’mon…anyone…I don’t care. Whoever they want me to fight. Whoever I’ve got to fight to get the belt, this is the year I want it. I’m coming,” stated an animated Cerrone. “Last year, my rookie year, I was scared. Everyone was asking about the belt. I’m like, “Oh man, that’s a big deal. Coming here, fighting for a belt my first year.’ Now I’m ready. Pettis…c’mon…whoever they want. Denver’s what I want though.”

Cerrone improved his overall record to 18-4 with his solid showing against Stephens. The victory was only the fourth by way of decision in his career with thirteen total wins via submission.

Check out the full interview below: