Stephen A. Smith: Backlash Over Cowboy Cerrone Criticism Was ‘Ridiculous’

Stephen A. Smith will not be changing his tune on Donald Cerrone’s performance at UFC 246.

Last month, Conor McGregor made his highly anticipated return to the Octagon. In the main event of UFC 246, the “Notorious” one collided with “Cowboy.” While McGregor was the favorite, many considered Cerrone to be a live underdog. McGregor ended up stopping Cerrone in 40 seconds via TKO.

Stephen A. Continues To Defend Criticism Of ‘Cowboy’

Stephen A. took some flak for calling Cerrone’s performance “atrocious” on the post-UFC 246 edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter. He even went as far as to say Cerrone looked as if he “gave up.” Appearing on SiriusXM’s The AK & Batak Show, Stephen A. continued to defend those comments (h/t Bloody Elbow).

“This is your 50th fight, dog,” Smith said. “You didn’t know how to back up and catch your breath? Then, oh — by the way — you went out in 40 seconds. Then we find out it’s your first pay-per-view fight. Oh, how many times we’ve seen brothers step in the ring and we go like this, ‘Bright lights might have been too much for them.’ But because it’s Cowboy Cerrone and it’s the MMA, suddenly I’m not allowed to say that? It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.”

Stephen A. took heat from many prominent figures in the MMA community. This included UFC color commentator Joe Rogan and McGregor. Through it all, the polarizing ESPN personality stuck to his guns.

With the victory over Cerrone, McGregor could be due for another UFC lightweight title opportunity next. UFC president Dana White has said in the past that he plans to book McGregor against the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson. Ariel Helwani, however, recently reported that there are early talks of McGregor taking another fight this summer with the lead candidates being Justin Gaethje and Nate Diaz.

As for Cerrone, what he’ll do next hasn’t been revealed. “Cowboy” did hint on social media a return for March or April.

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