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UFC 274’s Donald Cerrone reveals he quit in Conor McGregor fight: ‘I have to live with that every day’

Donald Cerrone could be entering his final fight inside of the Octagon later tonight (Sat., May 7, 2022) at UFC 274 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz., and the moment has provided “Cowboy” with an opportunity to reflect back on his storied career. Cerrone, who will face Joe Lauzon at UFC 274 to spark the PPV main card, is widely regarded as one of the most game and capable fighters of his time. Although he never won a UFC championship he came pretty damn close and seems to set new records every time he steps inside of the cage.

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CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE-DIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to “The Fight Mecca,” Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., on Sat., Nov. 12, 2022, featuring two highly-anticipated championship showdowns. In UFC 281’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, will look to settle the score with former kickboxing foe and No. 5-seeded contender, Alex Pereira. In the ESPN+-streamed PPV co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, intends to defend her newly-won title for the first time against former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Zhang Weili.

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One of the biggest UFC fights for Cerrone came against none other than Conor McGregor at UFC 246 back in Jan. 2020. “Cowboy” had called for a match up with McGregor multiple times before that, but didn’t seem totally prepared for his battle with the Irishman. In turn, McGregor walked into the cage and sparked Cerrone with a 40-second TKO (watch HERE). It was arguably one of the most disappointing performances of Cerrone’s career, especially since McGregor was competing outside of his own weight class at 170 pounds and hadn’t fought in well over a year.

Leading into this weekend’s UFC 274 event Cerrone was asked about the McGregor fight and revealed that he didn’t want any part of it. Cerrone spoke candidly and openly about how he felt leading up to his walkout and while he was in the cage with McGregor.

“On the Conor McGregor fight, the biggest eyes, millions watching, my moment, and I didn’t wanna be there. I cannot answer that any clearer. It was such a strange feeling,” Cerrone told ESPN.

“When I was in the back, I didn’t even wanna go out there. So when Conor gave me the door, I took it. That was my inner bitch. I took the door, let’s get out of here. It’s that easy. It’s that easy in a fight to get out, and I took it. I have to live with that every day.”

Cerrone, 39, will have a chance to end his six-fight winless streak later tonight when he takes on Lauzon in a fan-friendly matchup. It’s unlike “Cowboy” to give up during a fight inside of the cage so hopefully he can pull things together and leave a lasting impression on a stoked Phoenix crowd.


MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 274 fight card right HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 5:30 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

For more news and notes on UFC 274 be sure to visit our comprehensive event archive right here. For the updated, revised, and finalized “Oliveira vs. Gaethje” fight card and ESPN+ PPV lineup click here.

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