UFC superstar Conor McGregor is scheduled to return to the Octagon opposite Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on January 18. Despite the dangerous test that Cerrone represents, there is already buzz about McGregor potentially fighting Jorge Masvidal or Khabib Nurmagomedov thereafter — either of which would represent hugely lucrative fights for the UFC.
Suffice it to say that there will be a lot at stake when McGregor fights Cerrone in January. So much so that some fans have theorized that the UFC might pay Cerrone to take a dive against McGregor, thereby opening the door to more lucrative fights fo McGregor.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Cerrone responded to these conspiracies. Unsurprisingly, he’s vehemently denying them.
“Hell no, I’m not bowing down,” Cerrone said. “There’s a bunch of sh*t going around, people keep telling me ‘I heard you’re getting paid to take a dive.’ There wouldn’t be enough money in the world for someone to pay me to take a dive. I could never look myself in the mirror if somebody paid me to take a dive. Sh*t, never happen.
“I’d rather fight for free than take money to f*cking lose. That’s not me. I’m going to fight my ass off like I do every time.”
Cerrone, who is riding back-to-back stoppage losses against Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, also addressed critiques that he no longer represents a dangerous test for McGregor.
“I’m still No. 4 or 5 or whatever the hell I am. It’s not like I’m getting beat up by bums, somewhere down there getting tumbleweeded in the rankings pool,” Cerrone said. “I don’t know where I’m sitting but I’m still at the top of the list.”
On a similar note, Cerrone feels McGregor, who is riding a long layoff and a loss to Nurmagomedov, is still as dangerous as ever.
“I expect the best Conor you guys have ever seen. I really do,” Cerrrone said. “He has so many doubters and questions that he needs to answer. I think he’s training extra hard, he’s coming and I think he’s going to be the best Conor you have ever seen.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Donald Cerrone and Conor McGregor fight in January?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/23/2019.