Everyone wants to fight Conor McGregor. There’s no question about that. The featherweight champ’s mainstream visibility and drawing power is to the point where anyone that fights him is guaranteed a seven-figure payday and that has everyone from random nobodies to pay per view kingpin Floyd Mayweather, Jr. himself tripping over themselves to fight McGregor.
But who does Conor McGregor want to fight? According to longtime UFC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone, the answer isn’t him. Speaking with the “Norton & Friends” radio show, Cerrone said that McGregor has turned down not one offer to fight him…but two. Here’s the quote:
“Someone please just shut this dude up. [at the UFC 205 press conference] I was going to get on the horn and start getting after him but I decided not to because you talk about him, people not taking fights, he, two times I had the obligation to fight him and he turned down and took the easier fight.”
Cerrone is referencing the UFC 205 press conference when McGregor put forward one of his pre-UFC 196 loud mouth performances, taking verbal jabs at everyone on stage and talking about how rich and successful he is.
Are Cerrone’s claims correct, however? Well…yes and no. Here’s how Cerrone explained it:
“When he fought Diaz for the first time, I just fought. So it was Sunday, I was flying home, Dana calls and asked me if I’d like to fight Conor and that was for the Diaz first fight. And, he declined me and took Diaz cause Diaz was in Mexico you know, took the fight on 10 days notice or whatever. But, why would he want to fight me coming off a win? So yeah, my name was in the hat. Conor and his people didn’t pick me.”
While Cerrone has certainly thrown his name out for a fight with McGregor, and while he may have even been sent a bout agreement to face Conor at some point, the reality is that Cerrone was likely just passed on for the fights. Lots and lots of people have called out McGregor but the reality is that he’s exclusively looking for the biggest fights available. Cerrone has never been that guy.
Cerrone’s big, but hasn’t ever been a main eventer, and hasn’t ever been a champion. Conor McGregor accepted a more difficult opponent that was likely to draw more money in Nate Diaz. Can he really be blamed for that? Or for chasing after two titles when, again, that’s probably more challenging than Cerrone?
I think we’d all like to see Conor vs. Cowboy. But the time just hasn’t been right for it yet.
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