ESPN analyst, Stephen A. Smith, had some rather disparaging remarks for Donald Cerrone following his 40-second loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 246. Longtime UFC commentator and martial artist, Joe Rogan, was not too thrilled with those comments, and had some criticism of his own for Smith.
After UFC 246, Smith stated that he was ‘disgusted’ in Cerrone, and believed that Cowboy just ‘gave up.’ Smith also said that he himself ‘could have ran for 40-seconds.’ Smith went on,
“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 look like he gave up. It was just an atrocious performance on his part.”
The choice words seemed to discredit the actual damage that McGregor dished out, a broken nose and fractured orbital bone.
Check out some of Stephen A. Smith’s criticism of the UFC 246 main event:
Shortly after, Smith released a video of himself punching focus mitts in a rather pathetic fashion. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion and longtime MMA veteran, Josh Thomson, appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and he and Joe had a field day with the footage. They also brought up Smith’s comments about Cerrone, and Rogan stated that “This guy should not be allowed to talk about fighting.”
“You called a guy a quitter, first of all, had a broken orbital bone. You’re saying he was a quitter? He got his face smashed. He got cracked by one of the biggest punchers in the sport. He has the most wins in the sport, he has the most wins by finish, he has the most bonuses. I mean, come on. He has the most fights. Come on. You’re calling that guy a quitter? He got cracked. That’s what happens.”
Check out Rogan and Thomson going in on Smith for his comments and questionable padwork:
After catching wind of Rogan’s comments, Smith took to Twitter in a video to tell Rogan he was ‘wrong’.
“Mad respect to Joe Rogan. Nothing but respect for the man and the tremendous work that he has done, and will continue to do throughout the years and for years to come. But you’re wrong on this one my man.”
“Me, Stephen A. Smith, me being at the Conor McGregor fight against Cowboy Cerrone saying what I said, that he didn’t show us much at 40 seconds, that warrants ‘it’s not good for the sport? It’s not good for me? It’s not good for ESPN?’”
Smith went on to credential himself, talking about his length of time covering a variety of sports. He reaffirmed that he did not see enough in McGregor’s UFC 246 fight with Cerrone that makes him believe that what Conor did would ‘cut it’ against the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov or Jorge Masvidal.
“I don’t claim to be the aficionado you are, or anybody else covering the sport, but excuse me. I have been a reporter for 25 years. I have covered sports on a variety of competitive levels, regardless of what the sport is. That includes boxing and the UFC, and I don’t give a damn if I did it. It don’t take much to look at three shoulder shots to the nose that Conor McGregor gave Cowboy Cerrone, watching him fold inside of 20 seconds knowing that he only got one strike off that, oh, by the way, that was blocked by Conor.”
“It doesn’t take much to look at the fight and say, excuse me, I didn’t see enough to convince me that Conor in a rematch with [Khabib] Nurmagomedov, that wouldn’t cut it, or in a fight with [Jorge] Masvidal, that wouldn’t cut it.”
The ESPN analyst claimed he was open to discuss the fight, or his credentials, in person. He also reiterated this belief that Rogan was wrong, and that Cowboy ‘folded like a cheap tent’ and he stands by that statement.
“Any time you want to talk to me about this fight, or you want to talk to me about my credentials to discuss something in a world of sports, name the time and place Joe Rogan and I’ll show up. It’s not a problem. It’s not a problem at all.”
“You don’t know me, so I’m not going to knock you for speaking out the way you spoke out without calling me. I don’t care about all of that. I respect where you’re coming from, you’re just wrong on this particular one. And I’m telling you, you’re wrong.”
“Conor McGregor did not get the opportunity to show us enough for us to believe Nurmagomedov or Masvidal, that’s something that could potentially happen to them. I didn’t see it, because Cowboy Cerrone, in his first PPV match folded. I respect him, but he folded like a cheap tent. Period. Bad night for him, that’s all. I stand by that.”
“Joe Rogan, if you need me, you know where to find me.”