You either love Stephen A. Smith or you hate him. If your first real exposure to him has been through MMA then you’re probably in the latter camp. Smith has a very specific style of broadcasting but it’s not proving very popular in the MMA community. In short, he’s now in a feud with longterm UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
To sum up, Smith derisively called Donald Cerrone a quitter after UFC 246. Rogan emphatically disagreed, citing the injuries that Cerrone suffered at the hands of Conor McGregor. Meanwhile, the majority of the MMA community is on Rogan’s side.
Now Conor McGregor has jumped in and he’s on Cerrone’s side. Check out his response to Smith’s viewpoint below. After all, McGregor had done, it’s wild that he has the moral high ground. To sum up, don’t talk about what you don’t understand.
Joe Rogan says it looks bad for the UFC to have Stephen A. Smith commentating on the sport
Here is Stephen A. Smith’s responsepic.twitter.com/oMQlcwmbBg
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 26, 2020
Rogan was speaking to Bellator analyst and former fighter Josh Thomson. They slated Smith’s analysis. However, they also made it clear that it was his disrespect that they had mostly had an issue with. In short, calling the most active fighter in the division a quitter won’t make you popular. Rogan said:
“You called a guy a quitter, first of all, had a broken orbital bone. You’re saying he was a quitter? He got his face smashed. He got cracked by one of the biggest punchers in the sport, he has the most wins in the sport, he has the most wins by finish, he has the most bonuses. I mean, come on. He has the most fights. Come on. You’re calling that guy a quitter? He got cracked. That’s what happens.”
It didn’t help that ridiculous footage of Smith’s pad-work emerged. The man is stiffer than an arthritic giraffe. Check out Din Thomas’s recreation because it’s hilarious.
— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) January 24, 2020
However, Smith doubled-down in his typically bombastic style. He continued to deride Cerrone and bemoan the fact that we didn’t get to see McGregor tested. It’s not like the Irishman came storming out and tried to decapitate Cerrone with a massive left-hand in five seconds. Wait a second. Yes, he did. Smith tweeted:
“Conor McGregor did not get the opportunity to show us enough for us to believe Nurmagomedov or Masvidal, that’s something that could potentially happen to them. I didn’t see it, because Cowboy Cerrone, in his first PPV match folded. I respect him, but he folded like a cheap tent. Period. Bad night for him, that’s all. I stand by that.”
Obviously, Smith is wrong because we know McGregor is motivated again. That’s something we’ve definitely learned. Also, is the use of shoulder strikes also shows that his clinch game has developed. Furthermore, that’s the first head kick he’s landed properly in his career so his shot selection will be more diverse.
Sir, mich respect to the great @TheNotoriousMMA. My recollection on what I said is “That’s the way it looked.” Cowboy Cerrone is a perennial top-10 fighter. Much respect to him for the lengthy career he has had. Wishing him nothing but the best. But I don’t think it’s unfair to..
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) January 26, 2020
One of the most noteworthy aspects of McGregor’s fight with Cerrone was his respect for his opponent. That’s a far cry from most of his match-ups in the UFC. This was pure business. It will be interesting to see how a potential match-up with Jorge Masvidal or Khabib goes down. McGregor defended Cerrone. He tweeted:
“The call you discuss here is A+. I didn’t show enough. I’m not paid by the hour though. Joe’s comments however, come from you saying the opposition fighter quit. Broken nose/orbital bone say different. Fighting is vicious. Those who make the walk deserve full respect!
Smith has already responded to McGregor and in short, he doesn’t agree. Basically he groveled but stuck to his guns at the same time. Sometimes you have to know when to stay quiet. As Josh Thomson told Rogan, it’s not smart for Smith to be talking about fighters this way because imagine if he said that about Nate Diaz? He’d be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life. Please say it.