In a new interview, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone commented on his fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 246 in January, admitting that he was feeling far from 100 percent during his first-round knockout loss to the former two-division UFC champion.
Speaking to Brett Okamoto in an interview posted on ESPN MMA's YouTube account on Tuesday, Cerrone opened up on what happened at UFC 246. As quoted by Sherdog, the 37-year-old MMA veteran said that he had a bad feeling about his main-event bout versus McGregor two days before it actually took place, stressing that as a result of this, the "wrong guy" showed up at the event.
"I couldn't get going, couldn't get excited, couldn't get fired up. Didn't want to be there. Biggest fight, all the attention, my time to shine, and I didn't want to be there. It was crazy, man."Cerrone went on to say that he felt disappointed by his performance and doesn't know how he would have done things differently. He added that there are nights when he feels "fired up" and ready to fight, but there are others where he would rather be somewhere else. According to Sherdog, UFC 246 indeed marked what could have been Cerrone's biggest chance to further establish himself, with McGregor making his long-awaited return to the octagon more than one year after his controversial loss to current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. The outlet noted that Cerrone spent most of his time playing catch-up as McGregor got off to a hot start and never looked back, knocking his opponent out in just 40 seconds.
"It was a f*cked-up deal," Cerrone told Okamoto. "It sucked bad. I haven't really talked to anybody about that fight or anything going in."
Looking back further on how quickly he was defeated by McGregor, Cerrone said that he has been accused by "a lot" of people of throwing the fight against the Irishman. He emphasized, however, that he's definitely not the type of person who would "sell [his] soul" for a quick and lucrative paycheck.
In conclusion, Cerrone commented on how he cannot be as consistent as he wants to be in the octagon and looked back on the "weird" feeling he gets when he's under pressure to perform at his full potential.
Cerrone, who dropped to a professional record of 36 wins, 14 losses, and one no-contest following his loss to McGregor, is scheduled to face Anthony Pettis in a lightweight bout at UFC 249 on May 9. As pointed out by FightMag, Pettis is coming off two consecutive losses, including one against Carlos Diego Ferreira at UFC 246.