It’s been three months since Conor McGregor’s stunning TKO finish after just 40 seconds vs. Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. Multiple theories about Cowboy’s performance circulated, but he’s set the record straight in a recent ESPN interview.
During an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the 37-year-old was honest upon reflection of his 14th career loss (36-14, 1 NC).
When asked whether he ‘felt good’ before the fight started, he responded saying:
“Nope, I didn’t. Donald showed up but Cowboy wasn’t there. Wrong guy showed up, couldn’t get going, excited, fired up and didn’t want to be there. It was crazy man, I don’t know why or how, how to change that but… I wish I had the answer.”
On when he began feeling this way:
“Two days before the fight. It was hard, I showed up there that morning and just wasn’t feeling it.”
He described the knockout defeat as one where he was constantly trying to get his bearings, from the opening bell to the head kick and TKO finish.
“When he came at me and ran, threw that big shot… man I hit his hip bone and that’s what started the whole [ending to the fight]. I grabbed ahold of him to get my bearings back, he did the jumping shoulder slam which compounded the fog in my brain, let go and head kicked me. There was no time to regroup, from the first second to the end.”
This was the quickest he has lost a fight too. Given the manner of his defeat, with seemingly no resistance or a tough challenge for McGregor, many were sceptical on whether he purposely underperformed or was simply fighting for a good paycheck.
That notion is something he quickly shot down during his video interview, too:
“A lot of people said I threw the fight. I said man you got the wrong guy, there’s not enough money in the world [for me to do that]. The infrastructure of the UFC would have to be so corrupt for them to pay me, it’s asinine to even think that would be a thing.”
He’s now lost three successive UFC fights, with this bout being his welterweight return.
McGregor earned a Performance of the Night award, while becoming the first UFC fighter to hold knockout finishes in featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions. When asked on how Cerrone would describe the overall experience, he said:
“I can’t describe it, it’s like being in a spelling contest, you can’t spell and have to stand up in-front of the world and spell. You’re trying to convince yourself, fake it until you make it, but I don’t know. It’s tough, a weird sport.”
In the second of his new six-fight contract, Cowboy is set to face Anthony Pettis at UFC 249, which has been rescheduled for May 9.