With UFC 246 on the books, now that the smoke has cleared there is a foul odor from the main event result that saw Conor McGregor return to face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. With a fight that lasted only 40 seconds, many fans accuse Cerrone of diving and handing the victory to McGregor.
I’m one of those fans and before anyone yells “conspiracy theory” or thinks I’m crazy to believe this fight was a sham, there are several facts to consider. I give them vignettes that make the outcome of this fight suspicious and at least a little head scratching. I firmly believe in “where there is smoke, there is fire”. At UFC 246 in the main event there is no question that there was smoke.
- In December, Donald Cerrone was being interviewed by Damon Martin of MMA Fighting. He was asked if he would ever lie down in a fight. Now I ask you, why would someone ask a fighter that question? It was almost as if he was assuming this trick could happen at UFC 246. Cerrone’s response was this:
- “Hell no, I’m not going to bow down. There’s a lot of shit, people keep telling me ‘I heard you get paid to do a dive.’ There wouldn’t be enough money in the world for someone to pay me to dive. I could never look in the mirror if someone paid me to dive. Shit, it will never happen. “
- With the previous comment on the books, think about the history of Cerrone. He sure has lost and been knocked out seven times and submitted once. But in those defeats, he did not go down without a fight. Fought. He came face to face before succumbing. That, and Cowboy has mixed him with some of the best fighters of his day:
- Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson, Al Iaquinta, Mike Perry, Leon Edwards, Yance Medeiros, Darren Till, Robbie Lawler, Jorge Masvidal, Matt Brown, Rick Story, Patrick Cote, Alex Oliveira, Rafael dos Anjos, Benson Henderson, Myles Jury, Eddie Álvarez, Jim Miller, Edson Barboza, Even Dunham, KJ Noons, Anthony Pettis, Melvin Guillard, Jeremy Stephens, Nate Diaz, and Jamie Varner.
- So with all that experience and the most wins in UFC history (36), 17 submissions and 10 knockouts, can’t you last more than 40 seconds with a fighter who hasn’t fought in 15 months? In those quick 40 seconds, McGregor landed 20 strikes on Cowboy’s only attempt that was a blow.
- Donald Cerrone is known for his talent for grappling, submission, and kicking. But before this fight was over, Cowboy made sure the world knew that his strategy for this fight would be to ditch his normal style and “see what McGregor has” going toe-to-toe. That was an indication that he would receive strikes so he could retreat quickly.
- Once the bell rang and McGregor pulled Cerrone close, he began to deliver his now infamous (and frankly borrowed from Nate Diaz) shoulder punches. Cerrone used those and part of the excuse to lose, but as the Irishman raised his shoulder to Cerrone’s face, Cowboy simply took several of them without trying to avoid or defend them. The fact that Cerrone did not fight in this fight makes him very suspicious. He is normally a fighter and in the past he has displayed a hard chin with a lot of heart. Mysteriously that disappeared at UFC 246.
- Once Cerrone hit the mat, he threw himself up and was unable to try to get up. He gave up and quit. To make matters worse, in his post-fight interview, he was smiling and laughing, hugging his grandmother, fucking with McGregor … That was a losing fighter who cares? More suspicion right there. Cerrone said in that MMA Fighting interview: “I could never look in the mirror if someone paid me to take a dip.” Well now you will spend the rest of this wrestling career looking in the mirror and wondering what would have happened if you had ignored the enormity of Conor McGregor’s return and refused to get carried away by how important the Irish fighter is to Dana White and how much. The UFC president wants and needs McGregor to be important in the sport. What if he fought like Donald Cerrone knows how to fight? The result would have been wildly different.
- If you missed the pre-fight press conference, Conor McGregor in a few words welcomed Donald Cerrone to the million dollar fight club, but in the end, it was McGregor who got a $ 3 payday. million while the loser walked away with just $ 200,000. $ 200k for a man who has been fighting since 2006 and has risen to the Octagon 51 times. What does that tell you when the winner earns $ 1,800,000 more for 40 seconds of work? Maybe more money under the table to retire?
- Conor predicted a knockout … end result? McGregor knockout. Also, the fact that Cerrone dropped F-bombs at the pre-fight press conference and talked about blowing up the roof of the building and fighting and then laying an egg in the fight? The friendly banter between the two of you and the incredibly awkward politeness exchanges? Strange.
- Incredibly, Donald Cerrone has only had one shot at the UFC title and lost to Rafael dos Anjos. When he fought in the WEC he reached a championship fight twice, once for an interim belt and then for the royal title, both losses to Benson Henderson. Meanwhile, Conor McGregor has had about half the number of fights, has lost four times by submission and has been in six title fights. The only loss in those six bouts will be remembered the most by those who don’t care about McGregor. That was the submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. In that lightweight title fight, McGregor was defeated, drowned and embarrassed.
So what this boils down to is my original point on whether Donald Cerrone dove or not. Dana White has led Conor McGregor to be a leading contender and champion by giving him shortcuts. White and McGregor have very close ties and they both know that with McGregor at the top and being significant means one thing …MONEY. That’s Dana White’s best friend …green matter. So if Donald Cerrone had beaten McGregor, a Cerrone-Khabib or Cerrone fight against Kamara Usman, even Cerrone against Jorge Masvidal would simply not generate the pay-per-view sales that any of the aforementioned against McGregor would.
Did White pay Donald Cerrone for not fighting, taking punches, and falling calmly without counterattacking so referee Herb Dean had no choice but to stop the fight like he did? We will never know. If that was the case, there’s no way that any of the three involved (White, Cerrone, McGregor) would admit that.
But, Donald Cerrone may have decided to do what’s best for the company he works for knowing that McGregor will draw crowds of attention to the sport he says he loves or maybe there was some pressure and influence on him to just not fight and certainly. abandon what has made you so successful in sport. For Donald Cerrone to admit before the fight that he wasn’t going to use his typical style and instead step into McGregor’s wheelhouse and take a chance, lose shamefully and laugh about it? You would have to be foolish or ignorant to even suspect something was wrong at UFC 246. He also mentioned that people had said that he couldn’t win the big one. Well, he couldn’t win a big one again.
For those who want to point out the damage to Cerrone’s face, the Cowboy bleeds and bruises easily. Just go back to your Tony Ferguson fight where his face was terribly beaten up but he still wanted to continue. He wasn’t hurt in this fight for a second, but he came down to the mat like a crying dog. It just doesn’t make sense and the pieces of the puzzle just don’t fit.
There will be those who read this and call me crazy, call me a conspiracy theorist, say that the result of Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone was legitimate, and even more there will be those like Joe Rogan and the rest of the broadcast team are singing the praises of Conor McGregor calling him one of the best fighters in history. That to me is a joke. This is my opinion and I don’t expect many to agree. But I’ve seen all of Conor McGregor’s fights and to me, he’s NOWHERE close to being one of the best in the UFC.
I think Conor McGregor is VERY overrated. Why? Sure he beat the great José Aldo. He knocked him out with a single punch. But wait … Aldo has been knocked out just three times in his 34-fight career, twice to Max Holloway and that one he lost to McGregor. Still, he is one of the best in history because he was a champion and defended his belt many times. Do you know that of the two titles McGregor won, he NEVER defended either of them? Not even once.
Aldo has shown his toughness in the Octagon but nonetheless, McGregor hits him once and is he ready? I don’t think Conor McGregor hits that hard. The Dustin Poirier fight was stopped too early. He lost the first time to Nate Diaz and turned red and drowned in that one. In the rematch he won, but many thought he lost that decision. Eddie Alvarez, who appeared to be one of the toughest fighters in the sport, fell in a hail of punches at McGregor. Suspicious.
Unlike Donald Cerrone, Conor McGregor’s fighting history doesn’t come close to the number of great fighters Cowboy has faced. You have to feel for Justin Gaethje. He has 21 wins in 23 bouts and after winning his last three fights by knockout (James Vick, Edson Barboza and Cerrone), Gaethje is not getting the winner of the Tony Ferguson vs Khabib fight as he should, instead the talk is about a rematch with Conor McGregor and Khabib will surely end the same way the first fight did and probably worse. In Justin Gaethje’s six UFC fights, he has gone home with four “Fight of the Night” bonuses and three “Performance of the Night” bonuses. But here we have Conor McGregor grabbing all the attention and headlines. This from a guy with a history on the streets with legal trouble has been a nightmare.
As for the best of UFC history? I’m sure Jon Jones would say that. So would Demetrius Johnson. You have to include women in the discussion and both Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko have more talent on the one hand than Conor McGregor in their entire arsenal. BJ Penn in his prime was a far superior fighter to McGregor as was Matt Hughes and let’s not forget the legendary Georges St. Pierre. So what makes Conor McGregor so special and popular?
It’s because Dana White has gone out of her way to care for the Irishman and make sure they find ways to keep him familiar and that they enjoy each other’s company. That’s not the case with other wrestlers who have a bad history with Dana White. White did the same with Rhonda Rousey until she was exposed. I think eventually Conor McGregor will be exposed …again. Like Khabib Nurmagomedov has already done and will do again if they fight a rematch.
The bottom line of UFC 246 is that you can choose to believe that the main event result was positive and legitimate, or you can use your own personal microscope and closely examine the results and have even a hint of doubt. I have much more than a hint.