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UFC 246: Cowboy Cerrone shuts down rumors he’s being paid to take a dive against Conor McGregor

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Somewhere, somehow, Donald Cerrone heard a rumor that claims the only reason he scored the big-money fight against Conor McGregor is because he’s in cahoots with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to take a dive at UFC 246.

It’s an outlandish rumor to say the least, according to “Cowboy,” who stated there is not enough bankroll in the world that would allow him to go against everything he’s always stood for simply to allow McGregor to get back on track.

“Hell no, I’m not bowing down,” Cerrone told MMA Fighting. “There’s a bunch of sh*t going around, people keep telling me, ‘I heard you’re getting paid to take a dive.’ There wouldn’t be enough money in the world for someone to pay me to take a dive. I could never look myself in the mirror if somebody paid me to take a dive. Sh*t, never happen,” he added.

Indeed, there were a few eyebrows raised when it was announced that Cerrone got the winning lottery ticket to welcome McGregor back, especially since he was coming off a knockout loss to Justin Gaethje. When you add the fact that Gaethje himself was lobbying for the McGregor showdown, it got people talking.

That said, it’s simply disrespectful to even assume someone like “Cowboy,” who has always brought it to the cage night in and night out throughout his storied and lengthy career, to be the type of person who would roll over for paycheck.

“I’d rather fight for free than take money to f*cking lose. That’s not me. I’m going to fight my ass off like I do every time.”

It’s easy for some to forget just how dangerous a fighter Cerrone is based on his last two defeats, one of which was a doctor’s stoppage at the hands of Tony Ferguson. Prior to that, “Cowboy” was on a three-fight win streak and on the cusp of another title shot, so his last two losses simply aren’t a reflection of the type of fighter he is.

“I’m still No. 4 or 5 or whatever the hell I am. It’s not like I’m getting beat up by bums, somewhere down there getting tumbleweeded in the rankings pool,” Cerrone said. “I don’t know where I’m sitting, but I’m still at the top of the list.”

The two men will headline UFC 246 on Jan. 18, 2020, in what will be the promotion’s first event of 2020 in a crucial Welterweight match up. For McGregor, a win scores him a Lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov should “The Eagle” defeat Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. Cerrone, meanwhile, will have the chance to not only get a win over the biggest star in the game today, but silence all the critics who feel he’s on his way out or that he’s actually the type of person who would take a dive.