Stephen A. Smith found himself in hot water for the comments he made about Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone after UFC 246. Among his most vocal critics were UFC commentator Joe Rogan, and the man who knocked Cowboy out in 40 seconds on the card, Conor McGregor.
Both Rogan and McGregor suggested Smith should walk his comments back, with the latter even demanding an apology on behalf of his vanquished foe.
Smith, however, will not be backtracking or apologizing to McGregor, Rogan, or anybody else who took issue with his comments about Cerrone.
“If you’re telling me to apologize for using the word ‘quit’ or whatever, fine that’s no problem but don’t tell me that the guy wasn’t in over his head, don’t tell me the guy didn’t look like the bright light was just too big or too great for him,” Smith told ESPN (via MMA News). “Don’t tell me that it didn’t illuminate on him so much that he didn’t seem to be able to handle the pressure of the moment. I’m not apologizing for that.
“Conor McGregor as far as I’m concerned, despite four losses on his resume is elite,” Smith continued. “And one of the biggest reasons he is elite even though he’s tapped out a couple of times or so is this reality, he shows up. He shows up for the big events and the big events never seem to be too much for him. Conor McGregor’s not gonna be somebody that goes out there and beats himself. You wanna beat him you’re gonna have to literally do that, beat him.
“I will not apologize and I will not backtrack from my position. I don’t care what Conor McGregor or Joe Rogan says, although I profoundly respect both. We will just have to respectfully disagree on what we saw.”
What do you think of this rebuttal from Stephen A. Smith?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/3/2020.