Conor McGregor's comeback fight will likely be against 'Cowboy' Cerrone, and it has all the makings of a UFC classic

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesIt looks like McGregor could be lassoing a Cowboy fight next.
  • Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is on a vicious winning streak which has caught the attention of Conor McGregor.
  • The Irish UFC fighter posted a tweet on Saturday to say he wanted to fight Cerrone.
  • It is also a fight Cerrone wants, which means there is only one man left to make the deal official, and that’s the UFC boss Dana White.
  • But even White seemed hot on the idea because he said the match-up was “fun” at a recent press conference.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone finished UFC Fight Night 143 opponent Alexander Hernandez in impressive fashion on Saturday – and he continues to be linked with a fight against lightweight contender Conor McGregor.

Famously submitted in the fourth round by Khabib Nurmagomedov in October, McGregor will be free to negotiate his return to the sport following a disciplinary hearing on January 29 which follows his alleged involvement in the post-fight brawls that marred UFC 229 last year.

Since McGregor’s loss, Cerrone has been in show-stopping form as he submitted Mike Perry with a “performance of the night” armbar in November, before winning with a violent ground-and-pound technique against Hernandez at the weekend.

Read more: Cowboy Cerrone almost broke Perry’s arm, set a UFC record, and could be rewarded with a big-money bout against Conor McGregor

Watch Cerrone’s stoppage win over Hernandez here:

So brutal and emphatic was Cerrone’s win, it was even commended by McGregor himself, who tweeted his congratulations.

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

Cerrone then told ESPN that a bout against McGregor is “what’s maybe next.”

He said: “For a guy in his position, he can pick and do what he wants, I’m just a pawn in the show, if you want to do it, I’m honored. It’s cool, man. I’m sure he’s going to try to get under my skin, he’s the king of talking s—.”

Will Cowboy Cerrone fight Conor McGregorPhoto by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesCerrone won his most recent fight, a second round KO on Saturday.

The UFC boss Dana White is even on board. “If those guys want that and fans want to see it, that’s what I do,” White said at the UFC post-fight press conference, according to Yahoo Sports.

There are other opponents to consider, though. Cerrone told ESPN that he would happily take on anyone ranked in the top five to top eight of the UFC’s lightweight rankings, while McGregor could be paired once again with Nurmagomedov, against his old rival Nate Diaz, or even against his former sparring partner Paul Malignaggi in a boxing rules bout.

Read more: Conor McGregor’s rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘should happen’ this year, UFC boss says

Even White expressed caution. “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 are willing to fight anybody, want to fight each other; that’s fun.”

The makings of a UFC classic

Will Donald Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesCerrone has KO power in his fists and his feet.

A lightweight fight between Cerrone and McGregor has all the makings of a UFC classic. Both athletes utilise an entertaining, TV-friendly fighting style in the cage, leaning on effective kicks and powerful punches to secure highlight-reel victories.

A former two-weight UFC champion, McGregor has fought 25 times as a professional but only 11 times in the UFC. As a UFC fighter, his victories have earned him multiple bonuses. He has won the “Knockout of the Night” once, the “Fight of the Night” twice, and “Performance of the Night” six times.

Cerrone is also wildly decorated as a UFC competitor. The “Cowboy” has lassoed the most post-fight bonus awards in UFC history (16), has the most finishes in UFC history (16), and is the winningest fighter in the history of the company (22).

No wonder White regards it as a “fun” fight.

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