'Cowboy' Cerrone says he would have submitted McGregor 'right away' at UFC 196
'Cowboy' Cerrone says he would have submitted McGregor 'right away' at UFC 196 published by Evanvinh
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Posted on 2016-03-24
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Donald Cerrone wasn’t selected to face Conor McGregor when a short-notice opportunity arose earlier this month at UFC 196. Now “Cowboy” isn’t sure if the fight will ever happen.
Cerrone (29-7 MMA, 16-4 UFC) and McGregor (19-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) have formed somewhat of a feud in recent months. It started with social media banter and evolved into heated exchanges at a UFC press conference in September. Tension grew even thicker when McGregor labeled Cerrone a “quitter” after his failed lightweight title bid against Rafael dos Anjos in December.
Dos Anjos was meant to defend his 155-pound belt against McGregor at UFC 196. However, less than two weeks prior to the event, he pulled out with a broken foot. That opened the door for a replacement, and although Cerrone was on the short list of options, the bout ultimately went to Nate Diaz.
Cerrone felt he was close to getting his desired fight with McGregor, and said he was even willing to cut an extreme amount of weight in order to do so.
“Apparently I wasn’t close enough – I didn’t get the call,” Cerrone told MMAjunkie. “They called me and asked if I would say yeah. I even said I would take it at 155 (pounds). I was willing to make 155 no problem and fight him. But it just didn’t work out.”
Although Diaz was a healthy underdog for the welterweight contest against the UFC featherweight champion, he managed to absorb every bit of damage McGregor handed out. In the second round, Diaz forced the brash Irishman into a poorly timed takedown that allowed him to pounce on the mat and lock in the fight-ending submission.
Cerrone said he wasn’t at all surprised about the outcome. McGregor’s two career losses prior to UFC 196 came by way of submission, as well, so Cerrone said he had a strong hunch a skilled grappler would be able to have his way on the ground. And he admitted that would have been his gameplan, too.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” Cerrone said. “That’s how I would have fought. I would have went in there and took his ass down and submitted him right away. I’m not even going to start on the (expletive) (expletive).”
Although Cerrone has plenty of ammunition to fire back at McGregor after his first UFC loss, he said he would prefer to air his grievances in person. Cerrone still holds clear hostility toward McGregor and said it’s only a matter of time until they are in the same room once again.
“I got nothing to say about that (expletive) (expletive) to be honest with you,” Cerrone said. “It is what it is. He did run his mouth, but when he sees me face-to-face he’s going to have to – I don’t play that game. When I see him I’m going to check him and see what’s up. I don’t give a (expletive) where it’s at. I’d love to fight the dude, but it’s a fight that’s not going to happen for a long time.”
Cerrone’s lack of optimism in getting a fight with McGregor going forward is grounded in reason, he said. Not only was he passed up for the opportunity once already, but with McGregor reportedly set to rematch Diaz next at UFC 200 in July, plus the fact he’ll eventually be obligated to defend his featherweight title, it seems “The Notorious” has his schedule crammed for the foreseeable future.
“He’s got a long list of people wanting to whip his ass now,” Cerrone said. “I’m sure old ‘Cowboy’ don’t hold up much on the list. Who knows? We’ll see what happens. Him going back up to 170 to fight Diaz again, he’s going to put on a lot of weight and it’s going to be a lot harder to go back to 145 and fight Frankie (Edgar) and get his ass whipped by him.
“It is what it is. Diaz was the guy and it looks like they’re going to have a (expletive) rematch again. Good for him. Make that money, brother.”
For more on UFC’s schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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