Stephen A. Smith is paid by ESPN to give outrageous opinions on some of the world’s most popular sporting events, and when he does, people react in equally outrageous fashion. That’s why he’s an invaluable part of the network’s on-air analytical team.
And poor Joe Rogan not only gobbled up the bait, but appears to have swallowed the entire hook.
I’m not sure how else to explain the UFC color commentator’s decision to keep the conversation going. Smith dropped a hot take in the wake of UFC 246, one that was critical of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, and yet 10 days later Rogan is still trying to prove a point.
“Listen Stephen A. Smith, I guess I should respond,” Rogan said (via MMA News). “You’re a very entertaining guy. Like you a lot and I appreciate the props you gave me in that video, but you’re wrong. ‘Cowboy’ got fucked up with those shoulders in the clinch. He had Conor’s arms tied up and they’re in tight spaces. Conor dips low and slams this bone of his shoulder into the nose. And he’s at the beginning of the round, Conor’s a fucking super explosive guy. Super explosive, all muscle. Just fucking pulled tight at the beginning of the fight and just, ‘Bang! Bang!’ He got off good shots and ‘Cowboy’ was confused. Stephen A. Smith said that he felt like ‘Cowboy’ quit. He did not quit. He got smashed.”
Even Conor McGregor got suckered into responding.
Cerrone was stopped by McGregor in the first round of their UFC 246 welterweight main event back on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas, a fight that saw “Cowboy” suffer multiple fractures from well-timed (and oft-practiced) shoulder strikes.
Smith expected better from Cerrone and was overly-critical of his performance, which was all it took for MMA’s guardian angels to leap into action.
Folks ... it’s time to move on.