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Let's Talk About Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone!

Blogger's Note: This was originally published on Thanksgiving evening, reposting now for those who may have missed it. Hope you all had a great holiday.

After spending my Thanksgiving tucked away in a little corner of my aunt's house, vigorously refreshing Twitter, having pointless arguments with skells for far too long, and trying to gather every little detail I could about the very subject of this blog, I gotta tell ya - I almost forgot this Executively Directin Support shit ain't easy! We're back tho! We're very back.

By now, you already know this, but I'm gonna say it anyway just to give me that warm and fuzzy feelin on the inside... 

It's official: Conor McGregor will make his long-awaited return to the octagon on January 18th, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas...versus the one and only Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone.

If you've been paying attention, the only section of this news that should have come as a surprise is the disruptive timing at which it dropped.

McGregor announced that he'd be returning on January 18th just over a month ago while on a promotional tour for his Proper No. Twelve whiskey in Russia, and Cowboy was always the frontrunner, at least according to Ariel Helwani...

It's a fight that makes a lot of sense right now, a fight that fans have been clamoring to see ever since "DAH FUCKIN SEED" was planted at the UFC's legendary Go Big Press Conference in 2015, and a fight that fans have been DEMANDING to see since Cowboy made quick work of Alexander Hernandez earlier this year, called Conor out, and Conor accepted!

We went though months and months of hearing rumors and little whispers here and there about this fight, and in that period of time, Cowboy was knocked out and beaten badly by fellow Lightweight Justin Gaethje, which made a lot of people - myself included - believe the "Red Panty Night" may have slipped through the cracks for Cowboy. In the end, though, that clearly didn't matter much to any of the parties necessary to make this fight become a reality. 

I think a lot of that has to do with Cowboy's name value to the casual fan. I love Justin Gaethje, and respect the shit out of him as a mixed martial artist, but let's be honest - he just ain't the name that Cowboy is. I know he just knocked Cowboy out, and that's great, but will the people who tuned into that fight for Cowboy now be tuning into Justin Gaethje fights? Probably not. People love Cowboy for Cowboy, not for his W/L record. He's the perfect matchup for McGregor in personality alone!

Does Gaethje "deserve" this fight more? Well…actually, no. I'd probably say no to that. I don't know what you do to "deserve" a fight with Conor McGregor after he's been out for well over a year. It's not like there's a pecking order, especially not when this bout is taking place outside of the Lightweight Division (at 170lbs). Cowboy/Conor has been built up for over four years now, they've called each other out plenty, the fight has literally been accepted by both sides now…and last I remember, when Justin Gaethje was handed the opportunity to call McGregor out on a silver platter after defeating Cowboy in September, he specifically chose not to. 

In fact, he said, and I quote, "The Irishman's retired. I want a real fighter. I want the winner of Tony/Khabib."

So that's that! 

Continuing on the matchup for a bit - I've seen oodles and oodles of McGregor haters already trying to claim that Cowboy is a washed up, shell of his former self, waaaaay past his prime, who shouldn't even be allowed in the octagon anymore (like he's BJ Penn or some shit) and that Conor is a coward for taking "the easy way out" in his return. 

I'd like to shut that narrative down immediately. That's the dumbest shit I've ever heard. 

While McGregor hasn't been actively competing since 2016, Cowboy has picked up some of the most impressive wins of his career in that timeframe. Five of em, in fact! Yeah, he's lost in that time period as well, but the only fighters able to finish him (out of eleven killers) were Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson, Darren Till, and Jorge Masvidal. Cowboy is one of those guys who could knock anybody out on any given night and I think it's crazy to pretend otherwise…or even snap their arm off, Mike Perry style!

For the degenerates: as of this writing, I'm seeing McGregor sitting around -180 while Cerrone is a +150 underdog. 

Let's now address the elephant in the room - I know it'll be brought up, because it's been brought up alllllll day with me on Twitter, and understandably so - the ongoing sexual assult investigations that McGregor is currently facing, and where everything stands. I've been getting alllllll sorts of "DON'T YOU HATE HIM NOW??? THOUGHT YOU CANCELLED HIM LIBCUCK!!!! WE DON'T WANT YOU ON TEAM MCGREGOR ANYMORE!!!" action from one side, and tons of "HOW COULD YOU SUPPORT THIS SCUMBAG YOU CUNT?!?! YOU ARE A DISGUSTING PIECE OF HUMAN FILTH FOR HOW YOU'VE EXCUSED HIS ACTIONS!!!" from the other. 

Here is what I said in my first blog about the subject:

This should go without saying, but because people will ask, I’ll answer: in the horrific scenario in which these rumors are true, and McGregor was involved in this assault, he will absolutely not have my support going forward. I do still have some faith and trust in the person I’ve grown to admire over the past few years, though, and am extremely grateful for everything he and his team have done for me both professionally and personally. I’ll wait to cast total judgement until all facts and evidence are revealed.

I really hope this isn’t true.

…here is what I said in my second blog about the subject:

Allow me to repeat what I said in my previous blog about Conor McGregor’s ongoing sexual assault charge…

This should go without saying, but because people will ask, I’ll answer: in the horrific scenario in which these rumors are true, and McGregor was involved in this assault, he will absolutely not have my support going forward. I do still have some faith and trust in the person I’ve grown to admire over the past few years, though, and am extremely grateful for everything he and his team have done for me both professionally and personally. I’ll wait to cast total judgement until all facts and evidence are revealed.

…that’s my stance.

If it’s true – I’m out. If it’s not – I’m not. Right now, I just really wish this would stop happening.

…and here is what I am saying now:

Allow me to repeat what I said in my previous blog about Conor McGregor’s ongoing sexual assault charge…

This should go without saying, but because people will ask, I’ll answer: in the horrific scenario in which these rumors are true, and McGregor was involved in this assault, he will absolutely not have my support going forward. I do still have some faith and trust in the person I’ve grown to admire over the past few years, though, and am extremely grateful for everything he and his team have done for me both professionally and personally. I’ll wait to cast total judgement until all facts and evidence are revealed.

…that’s my stance.

If it’s true – I’m out. If it’s not – I’m not. 

Maybe it's me, maybe I'm the asshole, but jeeeeeez, man! I feel like I've been pretty damn clear on my stance time and time again! It's remained the same throughout, literally word-for-word! 

Sure, there are times where I'm buying into the headlines that I read about Conor, and guess what? That shit brings me down! There's also times where I read some of these headlines, and adamantly believe they couldn't be true. It goes both ways. I'm human! I don't have all of the answers, and quite frankly - neither do you. We haven't heard an update on one of these cases in months.

I'm trying my absolute best to deliver coverage of Conor McGregor's career that is informative, but more importantly, coverage that makes people laugh. That is always our end goal here at Barstool. Conor has made that task feel like navigating the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field over the past few months, but I'm hoping with a fight now on the horizon, and his mind back in the right place, he'll snap back into the McGregor that we all fell in love with when he burst onto the scene, throwing his distractions away, and focusing on what really matters from here on out. Maybe that's an extremely naive hope. I don't give a fook. It's still my hope.

Best of luck to ya Cowboy. Couldn't be happier that I'm not gonna be in any life threatening danger this time around. These next seven weeks are gonna be a ton of fun.

Q&A

Trying something new here, where I'm gonna incorporate a little Q&A into my blogs going forward. If you wanna ask a question in the future, FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER, and stay tuned for updates on blogs/topics for questions. If there's interest, I can even start doing weekly Q&A blogs on anything/everything I cover. Let me know!

@CampfireSauce: Who wins the fight, how, and what round?

Conor McGregor. Knockout. Round 1.

@AshDelaney91: Why do you think he's doing this at 170? Purely to set up a potential Jorge match up down the line, whilst proving 'he's not too small'? Or any other particular reason for it?

I think you're dead on with that analysis. McGregor has obviously been super irked with Jorge Masvidal lately, and especially the notion that he's "too small" to fight him, so yeah; maybe he demanded Dana allow this to happen at Welterweight so he could bulk up a little and show the boss what he's made of. Conor probably haaates the fact that Masvidal is the new cool kid on the block.

@howeya_doin: Where do you see McGregor go with a win? With a loss?

With a win? Masvidal, surely. I think he's got his sights set on either "Gamebred" or Khabib right now, nobody else. I guess Tony could be a possibility too, if he beats Khabib. In the case of a loss, though

@thefakeKCqb: Do you see Conor trying to blitz Cowboy? The longer this goes the more It goes to Cowboy IMO.

Yes, but not even necessarily for that reason. I just think McGregor is coming into this fight with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. That Khabib loss and every tactical mistake he made during it have been eating him alive for over a year now. I think we're gonna see him come out VERY aggressive in the first.

@TheRealDennyD: Is this Cowboys last fight if he loses?

Nah, I don't think so. He'll be set for life no matter what happens, but Cowboy's a fuckin savage, dude. He's gonna be fighting for years to come, I bet, no matter what he says. You'll have to drag that guy away from this sport.

@CallMeBoo87: Might be my first UFC event? Any pointers?

Maybe I'll get called a pussy for this, but keep your head on a swivel! I've been to a bunch of UFC events now (and a couple of McGregor fights) and when the tensions are running as high as they will be for this card, and everyone in the arena has a dangerous mix of hard alcohol and Las Vegas sun in em, fights are just destined to break out in the stands. ESPECIALLY when the Irish are in town. It's not something you should be overly concerned about - it's not like some wildly dangerous atmosphere or anything - but it's definitely something you need to watch out for more than you would at other sporting events. You don't wanna catch a stray. 

Have fun, though, and don't believe the beer vendors when they tell you it's last call! There is no last call in Vegas.