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Stephen A. Smith responds to Conor McGregor’s demand for an apology

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Smith’s comments on Donald Cerrone following UFC 246 are still causing a stir, with the ESPN commentator forced to defend himself on social media.

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So by now I think everyone in mixed martial arts (MMA) is familiar with Stephen A. Smith and his general modus operandi with ESPN: say a bunch of outrageous stuff, generate headlines, ???, profit! He brought his particular brand of pontification to our sport following UFC 246 and as you’d expect from someone with no background in MMA, his hot takes were pretty surface deep and highly insulting to Donald Cerrone following his 40-second loss to Conor McGregor.

If Dana White thought all the future McGregor matchmaking being done was extremely disrespectful to “Cowboy,” this was some next level stuff.

And because this isn’t your typical stick and ball sport, some people take it more seriously than others. Joe Rogan spent a good 20 minutes talking to UFC and Bellator vet Josh Thomson about it and basically said you can’t come into a sport where people are putting their bodies on the line and spout off this kind of ignorant garbage.

Conor McGregor backed him up on this stance, which led to the latest response back from Stephen A. Smith.

So of course, no apology and not even much of a walking back, although Smith did leave out a lot of his lazy “can’t hack it under the bright lights” arguments and how he was “quite disgusted” with Cerrone’s performance. We’re still waiting on Smith to take a few Conor McGregor shoulders to the nose and eye socket and see how well he performs following that. Maybe then we’d take him seriously when he said anything about mixed martial arts.

For now, we’ll just have to take solace in watching him get reamed by some of the top names in the sport. Whether that makes it more or less likely for ESPN to keep inflicting him on us remains to be seen.