There was nothing but respect shown in the build-up to Conor McGregor’s comeback fight with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246.
It was different from the normal pre-fight chatter we are used to hearing from the abrasive Irish man, a master of the mental warfare that so often has opponents defeat before they’ve even entered the cage.
It was different with Cerrone, though, a fighter clearly well-respected by McGregor given his longevity, toughness, eagerness to fight and devotion to his family.
Following McGregor’s impressive showing at UFC 246 in Las Vegas, he continued to show Cerrone respect and was even pictured talking to Cerrone’s grandmother post-fight.
Jerry Cerrone is well known in MMA circles having been an ever-present figure at her grandson’s fights. In multiple interviews, the record-holder for the most wins inside the UFC Octagon has credited his grandmother as the person who raised him.
In his post-fight press conference, McGregor was asked about his encounter with the matriarch of the Cerrone family. The Dubliner described her as a “phenomenal woman” and credited the job she did in raising one of MMA’s most popular stars.
“She’s just a phenomenal woman that lady, she’s there from the first fight of the night until the last fight. Even after the bout she came over and she showed me respect and I showed her respect and it was great to finally meet her.
“You know what I mean? You see her, she’s just a prevalent part of the game, isn’t she? Donald’s fought so much and that lady’s there from the start of the night to the finish.
“What a lady and what a man she has raised. Very, very honoured to share the cage with Donald and very proud. He’s a good man with good people behind him and much respect.”
"She's just a phenomenal woman. It was great to meet her."
"What a man she raised, very honoured to share the cage with Donald."
This is just class 🙏
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 19, 2020