UFC lightweight contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is one of the most honest and likable UFC fighters in the sport, but his latest admission stunned fans all over the MMA world. Cerrone revealed to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Tuesday that for some reason he just couldn’t get into the biggest fight of his professional career back in January against Irish superstar Conor McGregor at UFC 246.
“Donald showed up. Cowboy wasn’t there… Biggest fight, all the attention, my time to shine, I didn’t want to be there,” Cerrone admitted. “It was crazy, man.”
McGregor beat Cerrone via first-round knockout. But the worst part for Cerrone seems to be that he just can’t figure out why he had such a bad night. He had long wanted to face McGregor, and when he finally got his chance, he just didn’t seem to be there mentally.
“And I don’t know why,” Cerrone said. “I don’t know how to change that. But it sucks, man.”
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Cerrone Claims This Has Happened Before
Cerrone said not being able to focus for fights was a frequent thing that has happened to him throughout his MMA career. While the popular UFC star holds that company’s record for total wins, he’s yet to capture UFC gold.
To make matters worse, it would seem the 37-year-old’s time is running out. Can Cerrone really expect another big chance like that again anytime soon?
Regardless, Cerrone said he sometimes has problems getting himself ready to fight.
“Sometimes…I’m ready to go,” Cerrone said. “Sometimes I get there and I’m like man, and I don’t even want to be here…”
When Okamoto asked the precise time Cerrone knew he wasn’t going to be up for the challenge against McGregor at UFC 246, the fighter said he had plenty of time to think about how the main event probably wasn’t going to go his way on fight night.
“Two days before the fight,” Cerrone said.
‘Cowboy’ Returns at UFC 249
Indeed, McGregor stopped Cerrone in just 40 seconds at UFC 246. It was a fast end to the biggest fight of Cerrone’s career. Sure, the American finally got his chance to face the most popular MMA star on the planet in the main event of a huge pay-per-view card, but he just couldn’t seem to get things going that night.
Still, Cerrone has maintained his popularity with fans and media over the years precisely because he’s one of the top fighters in the sport.
Additionally, Cerrone is the type of person who at least admits what he’s thinking and feeling even when things don’t exactly go his way. It’s an admirable trait.
On top of that, Cerrone will find himself right back into the thick of things at 155 pounds in his next fight against Anthony “Showtime” Pettis on May 9 at UFC 249. In that prelims contest, Cerrone will hope to start stringing wins together again to put himself in position for another megafight.