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'Apologize': Conor McGregor slams ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith for comments following Donald Cerrone clash at UFC 246

'Apologize': Conor McGregor slams ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith for comments following Donald Cerrone clash at UFC 246
Conor McGregor once famously said that he would 'apologize to absolutely no one' but doesn't reserve the same advice for ESPN's Stephen A. Smith following comments that he made following McGregor's win against Donald Cerrone.

Smith, who was part of the broadcast immediately following the UFC 246 main event, was critical of both fighters in the aftermath, suggesting that we learned little about McGregor following such a brief bout and also being critical of the efforts put forth in the cage by UFC veteran Cerrone.

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Discussing the issue with veteran fighter Josh Thomson on a recent episode of his popular 'The Joe Rogan Experience' podcast, Rogan elaborated on his feelings about Smith, saying that the broadcaster - who often discusses topics such as the NFL - knows little about mixed martial arts.

Rogan and Thomson went on to be criticize a video released by Smith showing him hitting some boxing pads.

"Someone needs to explain to me what’s happening here. It looks like he’s punching a baby," Rogan said of Smith. "This guy should not be allowed to talk about fighting."

"Mad respect to Joe Rogan," Smith said in a video response to Rogan on Twitter. "Nothing but respect for the man and the tremendous work that he has done and will continue to do throughout the years and for years to come. But you’re wrong on this one my man.

"You have your right, just like I have my right to respond, as I’m doing right now," he added. "But any time you want to talk to me about this fight, or you want to talk to me about my credentials to discuss something in the world of sports, name the time and place, Joe Rogan, and I’ll show up. It’s not a problem. It’s not a problem at all.

"You don’t know me, so I’m not going to knock you for speaking out the way you spoke out without calling me. I don’t care about all that. I respect where you’re coming from. You’re just wrong on this particular one, and I’m telling you you’re wrong."

Of course, it didn't take long for one of the discussion's central characters, Conor McGregor, to chime in.

"The call you discuss here is A+," McGregor wrote. "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! Apologize."

Within minutes, the following sequence of replies were written by Smith:

"Sir, much 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 say that more than 40-seconds was expected from as tough of an SOB as he is, Conor McGregor.

"Nor do I think it’s wrong to assume that there’s no way that’s 40-second fight would take place w/ you vs Nurmagomedov or Masvidal. We expected more than what we got. Props to YOU for that. But to know how tough Cowboy is, lots of fans like myself expected more and I don’t think @joerogan is right to question my knowledge about a fight just because I wasn’t satisfied with what I saw. I said what I said and I meant it.

"It’s possible to do that and still have tremendous respect for you Conor McGregor, along with @joerogan. Both of you are fantastic for the @UFC. I wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much without the both of you. I wish you both prosperity in the future. But we clearly disagree about Cowboy’s performance on Jan.18. #RESPECT."

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