ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith scolded Donald Cerrone for an “atrocious” performance against Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 246.
Cerrone was finished via strikes by McGregor early in the first round, his third straight TKO loss following defeats to Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson in his last two fights. Following the event, Smith appeared on the ESPN+ post-fight fight and ripped into Cerrone for what he deemed was a terrible performance.
Here’s what Smith said (h/t MMAjunkie.com).
“I’m quite disgusted. Let me be very, very clear: I’m honored to be up here with you guys. I’m a spectator watching the sport. I expected to see more than 40 seconds. I predicted McGregor was going to win this fight inside of two rounds. I thought he would take him out,” Smith said.
“Here’s the deal: 15 seconds in, ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone was done. He got hit with those shoulders in the clinch, and he was done. It looked like he gave up. It was just an atrocious performance on his part.”
Although Cerrone was finished quite early in the fight, the head kick that McGregor landed would have badly hurt anyone, not to mention the follow-up punches that finished off the job. If anything, the way the fight went says more about how dominant McGregor was rather than that Cerrone folded up shop.
Still, that didn’t stop Smith from ripping apart Cerrone for his performance.
“You know the difference between a fighter that’s calm, cool, collected, and ready for the pressure, and it’s out-weighed by somebody that’s clearly in over their head. When you look at ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, that was not a guy that was prepared to fight tonight. We knew Conor was going to be prepared,” Smith said.
“We knew Conor was going to be ready. We wondered whether or not he would take him out early. Obviously as the fight goes on, ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is the bigger, stronger guy – supposedly. For him to be hurt in 15 seconds, get away from the clinch, and still just let Conor right back at him? Come on. You’re smarter than that, except for tonight.”
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