Conor McGregor is taking a very different approach to things in his fight with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246.
The bout goes down on pay-per-view (PPV) from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although McGregor usually tries to trash talk his opponents before a fight, this time, “Notorious” is taking a more respectful approach. Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani in a recent interview, McGregor admits he appreciates Cerrone for how he handled the build-up to the fight.
“Well, I said I’d fight him right? Me and Donald have had a history, a long history – well not a long history, but we’ve had a history. It’s an exciting bout, it’s a fan-friendly bout, it’s a fight that excites me, and it’s a fight that I said I’d partake – I appreciate Donald I have to say.
“He’s fought a lot of times, and since the last time I saw him – I saw him at that Aldo press conference many many years ago – he’s gone on and fought so many times. He’s also a family man with his grandmother – I appreciate that and I respect that. I also respect the method he went about with the Proper Whiskey and, you know, so much work goes into these things. To see that bit of respect, I appreciate that. I look forward to having a good bout,” McGregor said.
“I’m happy to come back and have my comeback fight and the beginning of my season against Donald. And I look forward to it, it’s going to be a good night, and I’m going to shine here on January 18. I’m going to create magic, like I have many times before. But this is going to be something special.”
McGregor and Cerrone’s fight will take place at 170 pounds despite the fact that the Irishman is still chasing gold at lightweight. As for why McGregor opted to fight Cerrone at welterweight rather than lightweight, McGregor noted that it’s because he doesn’t like the way “Cowboy” looks at 155 pounds.
“I just don’t think he looks well at 155. He’s a 170 fighter. Why would I want someone to suffer? I could beat him if he fought – I’d beat him any bleedin’ – I’d beat him at any weight. I’d beat him any – you know what I mean? I’d beat him if I had the flu. So I don’t need that. I just want to focus on my training. I don’t have to cut, and then build, and then cut.
“I’m happy where I’m at. And also, 170 is an exciting one for me. I like 170, I like what’s going on in the 170 division at the minute. You got Jorge with that belt, you got the other guys fighting for the belt. I like all what’s going on at 170. I feel good at 170, I feel energetic, it’s what I weigh, and that’s it. It opens up so many more options, right?”
Who are you picking between McGregor and Cerrone at UFC 246?