Donald Cerrone Earns Huge Win; Is Conor McGregor Fight Next?

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On Saturday night, Donald “The Cowboy” Cerrone rode his proverbial horse into town and came away with an impressive win over Alexander Hernandez at UFC on ESPN+ 1, also known as UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs Dillashaw.

Cerrone, now 35-11 in his career, sent the Barclays Center into an uproar as he got the TKO win over his younger foe in the 2nd round of their fight. Cerrone landed a beautiful head kick, which rocked Hernandez and then led to some ground and pound before the ref stopped the fight.

The live crowd went into a frenzy as their cult hero vanquished another fighter and earned a bonus for “Performance of the Night.”

Following the victory, all of the attention turned toward a potential showdown between Cerrone and Conor McGregor. In his post-fight interview, “The Cowboy” made the following exciting comments:

“The old man has still got it. This is the fight that the UFC wanted. I wanted [a] top- 5 [opponent]. I want Conor [McGregor] if he’ll agree to it. I’m coming for a belt. Cowboy is back.”

Cerrone’s post-fight comments about McGregor wasn’t the first time he challenged the PPV king of MMA. A few weeks ago, The Cowboy discussed how he wanted to fight either for a championship belt or against Conor McGregor if he can defeat Hernandez.

Almost immediately, the internet blew up as fight fans were pumped about a potential showdown between two of the company’s most popular fighters. Cerrone might not be as accomplished as McGregor in terms of belts and PPV buys, but Donald is just as popular with the fans and more so with his peers than McGregor.

As for his desire to get a title fight, Cerrone is further back in line for a lightweight title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Tony Ferguson is next in line for that title shot, with McGregor and Iaquinta both ahead of The Cowboy. He has better odds of a fight with McGregor than a lightweight title bout.

With his TKO victory over Hernandez, Cerrone now has 22 career wins in the UFC and 16 stoppages. Both of those numbers are UFC records that may never be broken. Furthermore, Cerrone’s win also gives him 28 total wins spanning across the major fight promotions (UFC, Strikeforce, PRIDE, WEC), which is also the most by any fighter.

Will Conor McGregor Fight Donald Cerrone?

Right now, the UFC and McGregor are waiting to see what the Nevada State Athletic Commission will do following the conclusion of their investigation into the UFC 229 post-fight brawl with Conor, Nurmagomedov and various team members. But, despite the uncertainty, McGregor didn’t hesitate to comment on Cerrone following The Cowboy’s win. Conor made the following comments via Twitter:

“For a fight like that Donald, I’ll fight you. Congratulations.”

Let’s put Conor’s comments into proper perspective. This is a fighter that typically trashes his opponents and peers via social media. He rarely has a pleasant thing to say about anyone else in the UFC. So, the fact that he congratulated Cerrone and said he would fight him is definitely a rarity when it comes the McGregor.

It’s clear that if you understand the “McGregorisms” then you understand he does have interest in fighting Cerrone.

One thing that does concern me, is if Cerrone had such an issue with Alexander Hernandez talking trash then what’s going to happen if he fights McGregor? Conor is the MMA king of talking trash. In fact, he’s on another level when it comes to trash talking. He puts many pro wrestlers to shame and they actually train in the art of trash talking.

Will UFC Book a Cerrone vs McGregor Fight?

With both fighters interested in a lightweight bout, the next hoop to jump through will be whether or not Dana White and the UFC would book this match. UFC President Dana White addressed this possible matchup in the post-UFC Fight Night press conference:

“Yeah, I mean anything is possible. If those guys want that and the fans want to see it, that’s what I do. Don’t run out there and say that’s the fight I’m making. I don’t know what I’m gonna do, but I like the fact that two of these guys that are complete dogs and fight anybody — willing to fight anybody — want to fight each other. That’s fun.”

It’s a simple decision Dana, you make the fight and don’t hesitate. Other than a trilogy fight with Diaz, there’s no other non-title fight to make for McGregor that would be more popular with the fans and more lucrative than a lightweight contest against Cerrone.

Donald is even willing to fight McGregor in Ireland just to land this bout. Dana White should feel incredibly fortunate to have this possible matchup fall out of the sky and land in his lap. Cerrone could’ve lost against Hernandez and then there would be no fight to make with McGregor.

The UFC would be stuck waiting for the NSAC investigation to complete. At the very least, the buzz over a potential Cerrone – McGregor fight will keep both fighters in the spotlight and create a growing demand.

Betting Odds for Cerrone vs McGregor

When Cerrone first publicly stated that he would like to fight McGregor, the MMA betting sites began listing this possible UFC future bet. Sites like MyBookie, opened with McGregor a clear favorite at -185 odds and Cerrone the underdog at +150 odds.

After the Cerrone TKO win over Hernandez, the McGregor vs Cerrone betting odds haven’t changed at all. This is a bit surprising considering how great The Cowboy looked and how the last image we had of McGregor inside the octagon was of him tapping out to Nurmagomedov. With that said, McGregor is rightfully the favorite between the two fighters.

If this fight does happen, I would expect the most popular prop bet would be the fight-ending via TKO or KO. Both men will go toe-to-toe, fist-to-fist and look for a crushing stoppage. In the end, it’s the fight fans who will be the ultimate winners.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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