Following the UFC 246 main event fight between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone, which ended in a 40-second TKO, ESPN broadcaster Stephen A. Smith said he felt Cerrone’s performance was “atrocious.”
The comments made by broadcaster were met with criticism from the likes of Joe Rogan, Jon Jones, and even Conor McGregor himself.
Stephen A. Smith made it clear that he won’t be apologizing to anyone. His comments were actually defended by others like Chael Sonnen and Nate Diaz and the “feud” between Smith and the MMA community seemed to quiet down – until now.
During last weekend’s boxing rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in Las Vegas, Smith was a guest on Sirius XM’s The Ak & Barak Show with special guest co-host Sway Calloway. When he was asked about his controversial take on the McGregor vs. Cerrone fight at UFC 246, Smith didn’t hold back and even admitted that he’s still learning the sport.
“Fellas, I’m learning the sport,” Smith admitted. “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.”
Smith made the comparison between himself and his First Take co-host, Max Kellerman who is known for his knowledge of boxing and broadcast skills, saying Kellerman can point out lesser known fighters, but Smith himself won’t care about who they are until they make a name for themselves.
“For example you might have somebody like my man Max Kellerman, you cover boxing,” Smith said. “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 gets 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.”
After explaining how he looks at boxing and MMA in his broadcasting role, Smith talked about what he saw at UFC 246 in the fight between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone.
“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,” Smith said. “I’m saying I saw Conor McGregor fight this dude for 40 seconds. 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,” Smith added. “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? It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.”
Despite all the controversy caused by these comments from Stephen A. Smith, it seems as if he will continue to stick by his words and thoughts on what he saw in the main event fight at UFC 246.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 26th February, 2020.