Smith Stands By Criticism Of “Cowboy”
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith is not budging with his criticism of Donald Cerrone’s performance.
Cerrone suffered a quick 40-second TKO defeat to Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas last month. It was an underwhelming performance from Cerrone who many expected to put up more of a fight.
Smith proceeded to unload on Cerrone’s showing in the post-fight show as he expected the contest to last a little more than 40 seconds. He also claimed “Cowboy” gave up which has since led him to receive plenty of backlash from the MMA world.
But over a month on, Smith is still standing by his comments as he never claimed to be an expert in MMA — he was simply stating what he saw.
“Fellas, I’m learning the sport,” Smith said in a recent interview. “Muay Thai, being in a rear-naked choke — I don’t know. I never said I knew. What I said was, I was at that fight. I know what the hell I saw for those 40 seconds. I’m not debating the sport. Like for example, there’s a whole bunch of cats that talk basketball — you think they know basketball like I know basketball? I’ve been covering the sport for 25 years. I got inside information all over the place. No, I’m an aficionado on basketball. I’m a reporter and spectator everywhere else.
“For example, you might have somebody like my man Max Kellerman, you cover boxing. Max could tell you who the 30th-ranked fighter in the world is. I don’t give a damn about him. I’ll see him when he get up to the top 10. I’m focusing on here cause I ain’t got time, I got to do all of this. I ain’t got time to watch the 30th-ranked fighter. You see what I’m saying? But if I did watch him fight, I know boxing enough to know what I saw.”
Smith then spoke specifically about the criticism he received from the MMA world.
“So when you had cats coming at me, I’m sitting here, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. I didn’t sit up there and say, I’m Joe Rogan and I’m breaking down the nuances of the sport.’ I’m saying I saw Conor McGregor fight this dude for 40 seconds,” Smith added. “I saw this dude get hit with three shoulder shrugs right to his nose. He backed up, had a chance to run away for a few seconds to gather himself — didn’t do it. Only did one side kick which didn’t connect. Then got kicked in the side of his head by Conor McGregor. He goes down and out.
“This is your 50th fight, dog. You didn’t know how to back up and catch your breath? Then oh, by the way, you went out in 40 seconds. Then we find out it’s your first pay-per-view fight. Oh, how man times we’ve seen brothers step in the ring and we go like this, ‘bright lights might have been too much for them.’ But because it’s Cowboy Cerrone and it’s the MMA, suddenly I’m not allowed to say that? That’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous.”
🎙️"I was at THAT FIGHT! I know what the hell I saw for those 40 seconds!" — @stephenasmith told @RealSway, @BoxingwithAk and @TheBoxingBully on #WilderFury2 Radio Row why he stands by his assertions after #UFC246. 🔊
Video credit: @SPORF pic.twitter.com/HJ0rxGVGgl
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) February 24, 2020
What do you make of Smith’s comments?