On Saturday night in Brooklyn, Donald Cerrone made a showcase return to the Lightweight division, and caught the attention of a certain brash Irishman.
In the build up to his fight with Alexander Hernandez, Cowboy was asked a number of times if he had made any progress in his chase for a fight with former Featherweight and Lightweight champion Conor McGregor. In response, Cerrone said:
“We’re working for it, for sure, hopefully the next fight. Conor is his own beast man, he gets to dictate the sport. So it’s kind of, if me and the UFC agree, it’s all on him.”
Fastforward a few days, Alexander Hernandez is staring up at the lights and not sure which state he’s in, and Donald Cerrone is calling out Conor McGregor live on ESPN – it certainly seems he has caught the attention of the Notorious one.
If you consider yourself an MMA fan, then you’ll be excited for this fight. Who wouldn’t be? Two fighters that have a history of producing some highlight reel knockouts, that love to stand and throw, and have an “anyone, anywhere” attitude. It also presents an interesting stylistic matchup, as both fighters have very strong standup games, Donald Cerrone also has 16 submission wins in his storied career – it just so happens that all four of McGregor’s losses have come via submission.
As much as I would love to see this fight… there’s a very high chance that it won’t happen. McGregor is just 2-2 in his last four fights, and is slowly starting to lose some of the star power he gained on the back of his Lightweight title victory. Part of the McGregor magic, that helped enrapture a large amount of MMA fans, was “Mystic Mac”. McGregor proclaiming he was going to do something, and then going on to do it. Lately, Mystic Mac has been getting a lot of his predictions wrong.
McGregor needs a win, and he knows it. Cerrone would be a great fight for the fans, and certainly seems like a fight he would be excited for, but does he want to take that risk? Taking on a man who has such a dynamic game? Who excels at exposing McGregor’s biggest flaw? I don’t think so.
Another key reason I can’t see this fight going ahead – it isn’t a main event level fight. Could it headline a fight night? Hell yes. Will McGregor ever fight on a Fight Night card again? Hell no. Could it headline a PPV? Not in the modern UFC, in which every main event has to be a title fight. That is however, unless they finally decided to acquiesce and created a 165lb division… something Cowboy has campaigned for on a number of occasions, but that is highly unlikely.
It’s time for Cerrone to start working his way back up the rankings of the Lightweight division, and it’s time for Conor McGregor to decide if he still wants to be in the fight game.