Following Cerrone’s win over Alexander Hernandez in January, he exchanged several messages with McGregor on social media with both agreeing that a fight between them made a lot of sense. The UFC almost immediately attempted to seize on the potential matchup with a targeted date for the fight expected in the summer.
Before anything could get signed, McGregor scoffed at serving as anything other than the main event on a pay-per-view card and without a championship around his waist or on the line, the UFC didn’t want to give him headline status.
That virtually ended the negotiations for the fight right then and there and Cerrone ended up facing and defeating Al Iaquinta in May instead.
On Saturday night, Cerrone will look for his third win in a row in the lightweight division and fourth consecutive victory overall when he faces former interim champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 238. Another win could put Cerrone on the precipice of title contention but then again it could also stoke the flames for that McGregor fight as well.
Well according to Cerrone, the only thing on his mind is finally wearing UFC gold around his waist and McGregor can just get back in line whenever he’s ready to return.
“Conor’s had his shot, sit your ass down now f—ker,” Cerrone said when speaking to the media in Chicago on Wednesday. “[I’ll] take the belt.”
Once McGregor was out of the picture, Cerrone didn’t hesitate to accept the fight with Iaquinta the same way he jumped at the opportunity to face Ferguson this weekend.
Ferguson will step into the cage on an 11-fight win streak and Cerrone knows he’s a dangerous opponent but he’s also confident that he has figured out the way to beat him.
“Probably his stand up just with the unorthodox, don’t see the strike coming punches,” Cerrone said when asked where Ferguson is the best. “Him moving backwards, he’s not very good though and his ground, I believe I’m better.
“Tony’s style puts him in danger a lot. So we’ll see if he can take the punishment.”