Saturday, December 3, 2022

Conor McGregor Explains Why Donald Cerrone Is First On His “List”

Conor McGregor has answers for those who have been wondering why he will be facing Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the UFC 246 headliner.

Donald Cerrone is one of the most respected names in the history of the UFC, but the fact that he is currently on a two-fight losing streak had many wondering why Conor McGregor will be facing him upon his Octagon return instead of other options, namely Justin Gaethje. The primary reasons for Cerrone being McGregor’s UFC 246 dancing partner comes down to bringing closure to a fight a long time in the making and also McGregor keeping his word.

“Me and Donald have had a history for a while, and I did say I’d fight him,” McGregor said Friday in an interview with TheMacLife. “If you look at the list of callouts and people I have engaged with, Cowboy was probably one of the first ones, so he’s first on the list. And that’s it. And I’ll get to every single one of them also.”

Conor McGregor is referring back to when he said he’d fight Donald Cerrone following Cerrone’s impressive victory over Al Iaquinta in May. Those talks progressed but were reportedly shut down by McGregor after the UFC planned to have the contest take place as a co-main event. Well, here we are, two weeks away from the very same fight serving as a headliner, so those concerns of McGregor have been remedied.

But that still leaves the question of why the fight is taking place at welterweight. Dana White has answered that question on McGregor’s behalf, but McGregor would directly address it himself.

“Well, first of all, it’s what I weigh right now,” McGregor said. “So what’s the lightweight title fight? April, is it? So weight cut to that, and then likely something will happen there, so I’ll be ready to slide in for that belt. A good, solid camp at 170 with no weight cut, a good fight.

Conor McGregor also sees Donald Cerrone as an ideal opening bout for him to kick off 2020, using a sports analogy to articulate why.

“I know Donald’s a good fighter…great record, most knockdowns, most head kicks, most fights, most rounds…he’s got a lot of UFC records under his belt,” McGregor said. “So I get a great camp, a great fight, and then it’ll take me into the year.

“I’m looking at this as a season, so this is the beginning of the season,” McGregor continued. “Donald was the first one I agreed to have a bout with, and here we are.”

UFC 246 takes place Saturday, January 18, 2020 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card will stream exclusively on ESPN+. It will mark the first fight for Conor McGregor since October 2019, when The Irishman came up short in a grudge match against Khabib Nurmagomedov in the same arena at UFC 229.

What’s your take on Conor McGregor’s rationale behind fighting Donald Cerrone at UFC 246?