Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone went into his UFC 246 headlining bout knowing it represented the biggest opportunity of his career. McGregor may not be considered the greatest fighter of all time, but he is a global superstar and a victory over him could have catapulted Cowboy’s own stardom to an entirely new plane.
Heading into that fight, Cowboy also knew that he carried with him the criticism that he couldn’t get over the hump in the big fights. Though Cowboy is one of the UFC’s most popular fighters because of his never-say-die attitude, in the bigger fights of his career, Donald not Cowboy has made his way to the cage. That is what he says was the major part of what happened at UFC 246.
“Donald showed up. Cowboy wasn’t there,” Cerrone told ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto, noting that he wasn’t feeling fired up as soon as two days prior to the fight.
“Wrong guy showed up. Couldn’t get going. Couldn’t get excited. Couldn’t get fired up. Didn’t want to be there. Biggest fight. All the attention. My time to shine. I didn’t want to be there. It was crazy man. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to change that.”
That’s obviously not a good position to be in when you’re heading into a cage with four-0unce gloves on to punch another man in the face and him do the same in return. It certainly cost Cowboy in the bout with McGregor.
In just 40 seconds, McGregor stormed across the cage and sent Cerrone reeling. Rocked within seconds, Cowboy lost his sense and quickly lost the fight.
To compound his disappointment in his performance, Cowboy had to deal with detractors that claimed he threw the fight just to make the UFC’s superstar look good in his return following a year-plus layoff.
That of course doesn’t sit well with Cerrone, who went into detail about how the fight went down and how he reacted to those claiming that he laid down for McGregor.
Cerrone returns to the Octagon at the revamped UFC 249 on May 9, where he headlines the preliminary bouts on ESPN and ESPN+ in a rematch with Anthony Pettis.
(Courtesy of ESPN MMA)