If either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor are looking for their next opponent, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone knows a guy.
During his in-cage interview following a first round submission win over Mike Perry, Cerrone made his intentions clear that he is heading back to the lightweight division and that he has his sights set on champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Just in case that one doesn’t pan out, Cerrone took to Instagram on Monday to issue a challenge to Conor McGregor.
“Just waiting on him,” Cerrone wrote in the caption of a photo of he alongside McGregor. “I know a guy.”
Cerrone has not fought at 155 since a Dec. 2015 loss to then champion Rafael dos Anjos. After a poor performance in that fight, Cerrone moved up to welterweight and won his next four fights before going on a skid that saw him lose four of five fights. He rebounded in a big way Saturday night with the win over Perry. Cerrone holds wins at lightweight over former champion Benson Henderson and eventual champion Eddie Alvarez.
If Cerrone is going to get either Nurmagomedov or McGregor for his next fight, he might have to wait a while. Both men are temporarily suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) until at least Dec. 10 when they will both face a hearing in front of the NAC. It’s possible that the suspensions could be lifted and only fines could be handed down for the brawl that occurred at UFC 229, but there is also the likelihood that further suspensions are placed on each fighter.
A title shot for Cerrone at lightweight might be a stretch at this point in time, but a bout between Cerrone and McGregor would be a fun, fan-friendly fight in the same vein as McGregor-Nate Diaz was. When Rafael dos Anjos had to pull out from his anticipated UFC 196 bout with McGregor, Cerrone was in the conversation as a replacement until Diaz was eventually named as the replacement. McGregor and Cerrone also traded barbs at a 2015 press conference when both men were promoting separate fights.
“Conor doesn’t stand a chance coming to 155,” Cerrone said of McGregor at the time.
“You’re too slow and too stiff,” McGregor replied. “I’d break you in half.”