Conor McGregor has hit out at ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith following his criticism of Donald Cerrone’s performance during the main event of UFC 246 last Saturday night.
Smith, along with UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan, provided analysis following the fight, with the ESPN pundit, who is famed for his outspoken nature, criticising Cerrone’s performance and claiming that we learned nothing from McGregor’s win.
Rogan then took to his own podcast to outline that he felt Smith’s comments were a bad look for himself and ESPN, and that Cerrone deserved more respect.
“There’s no positive in downplaying the career of Donald Cerrone and what he can do as a fighter,” Rogan said
“What that showed to me is how phenomenal Conor performed. (Smith’s comments are) a bad look for everybody. It’s a bad look for ESPN, it’s a bad look for him, it’s a bad look for the sport.
“There’s other people that can do this. We have plenty of people out there who understand the sport. There’s plenty of them.”
Smith of course responded to Rogan, taking to Twitter to defend his comments on McGregor, Cerrone and UFC 246, explaining that believed the UFC commentator to be “wrong” in his criticism.
“You have your right, just like I have my right to respond, as I’m doing right now,” said Smith.
“But 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 the 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.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) January 26, 2020
“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 that. I respect where you’re coming from. You’re just wrong on this particular one, and I’m telling you you’re wrong.”
Following this exchange, McGregor decided that he should interject outlining that he agreed he did not show enough in his win over Cerrone, but that Smith should “apologise” for his comments surrounding the UFC veteran.
“The call you discuss here is A+. I didn’t show enough. I’m not paid by the hour though. Joe’s comments however, come from you saying the opposition fighter quit. Broken nose/orbital bone say different. Fighting is vicious. Those who make the walk deserve full respect! Apologise.”
The call you discuss here is A+. I didn’t show enough. I’m not paid by the hour though. Joe’s comments however, come from you saying the opposition fighter quit. Broken nose/orbital bone say different. Fighting is vicious. Those who make the walk deserve full respect!
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 26, 2020
Smith responded with a number of tweets, clarifying his comments and explaining that he expected more from Cerrone in last Saturday night’s main event.