Donald Cerrone is not a fan of Conor McGregor.
That became apparent when the two fighters crossed paths at the UFC’s “Go Big” press conference at the end of 2015. At the time, McGregor was set to face Jose Aldo for the featherweight title, while Cerrone was to challenge Rafael dos Anjos for lightweight gold.
“He’s real good at talking out in front of the public, but when we all stand in the back he ain’t got nothing to say,” Cerrone said then. “I stood back there for 30 minutes right next to him, and [he had] nothing to say to me, but he was very cordial with my man [Mendes] next to me.
“Of course we get out here he wants to run his mouth, but it’s good, you know, he sells the fights. But if he comes to 155 I’m gonna bend his little ass over.”
At the time, McGregor vs. Cerrone looked like a potential dream matchup in 2016. However, Cerrone moved to 170 pounds after losing to dos Anjos, and he appears to have a new lease on life in that division. Meanwhile, McGregor captured 145-pound gold but spent the majority of the past year engaged in a rivalry with Nate Diaz, splitting a pair of bouts with the Stockton, Calif., native at 170 pounds.
The Irishman will close out his campaign with a lightweight title bid in the UFC 205 headliner in New York City on Nov. 12. McGregor has established himself as the promotion’s biggest star, but Cerrone doesn’t like the “Notorious” one’s chances against champion Eddie Alvarez.
It’s not a good fight. Because Conor sucks. Eddie’s smart. He won’t get caught up in the dramatics of it all,” Cerrone said on the UFC “Unfiltered” podcast. “He’ll just go out there, take him down, f---ing wrestle him and f---ing submit the dude. Easy work.
“Conor’s real good at getting you emotionally involved. I think you just go out there take him down, f---ing end him. Quick. Done. Check please.”
Cerrone and McGregor briefly traded barbs on Tuesday during a press conference at Madison Square Garden, but it was nothing like their exchange late last year. For the most part, Cerrone, who faces Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 205, doesn’t care to get involved with pre-fight psychological warfare. The last time he did, he wound up on the wrong end of a lopsided loss to Diaz at UFC 141.
“I don’t let that s--t bother me anymore. Four years ago, yeah it did,” he said. “I wanted to hurt him bad. Just all the s--t talking. I respect the s--t out of the Diaz brothers.”
While McGregor continues to reap the benefits of his stardom, Cerrone believes the SBG Ireland standout should be entering UFC 205 on a two-fight losing streak. However, the scorecards at UFC 202 told a different story, as McGregor defeated Diaz in their rematch via majority decision.
“I think Nate beat Conor,” Cerrone said. “I honestly do.”