ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith pissed off a lot of MMA fans earlier this month when he bashed UFC veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone following his 40-second loss to Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 246. During his post-fight assessment, Smith described how “disgusted” he was with Cowboy’s “atrocious performance.”
Joe Rogan, who was standing next to Smith when the comments were made, wholeheartedly disagreed with Smith’s take as well, and he expanded upon his feelings on the “JRE MMA Show” podcast. In short, Rogan stated that Smith’s commentary was bad for the sport.
Smith issued his response to the criticism on Saturday, as seen in the video embedded below.
Says Smith, “You’re wrong on this one, my man.” He continued, “First of all as it pertains to ESPN, check the numbers, the subscribers to ESPN+, the level of attention that it got, the traffic that it generated in the digital and beyond…Not good for the sport? I think that’s good for the sport.”
Not long after Smith posted that video, Conor McGregor weighed in. And although McGregor agrees that he didn’t “show enough” during his return to the octagon, he made it clear that he’s siding with Rogan. Furthermore, McGregor thinks SAS needs to apologize to Cowboy for the disrespect.
McGregor’s full response:
“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! Apologise.”
Rogan has not yet addressed Smith’s video, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if SAS makes an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience in the near future.