Conor McGregor unleashes respectful trash talk on Donald Cerrone

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We’ve all seen the GIFs and the memes of Conor McGregor’s brash arrogance at pre-fight press conferences in the past.

His putdowns of other fighters and explicit trash talking has helped build his mystique and brand.

However, ahead of his return to the Octagon against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone on January 18, McGregor has seemingly changed tact.

The Irishman opted for a more respectful speech as opposed to an angry tirade bashing his opponent.

He spoke of his respect for Cerrone taking so many fights whilst becoming a family man away from the sport.

Broadcast by CBS, McGregor recalled his history with ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, saying: “I’ve had my back and forths with Donald through the years.

"The last time we spoke to each other or saw each other would’ve been a press conference many years ago.”

Notorious even joked about Cerrone’s prediction in regards to the McGregor/Jose Aldo fight which, of course, lasted all of 13 seconds.

“I was the interim UFC featherweight champion at the time. Donald predicted I wouldn’t get through Aldo, he predicted I was too small for the 155 division, I conquered that division.

“You know we’ve had a good back and forth me and Donald and as time’s gone on, he’s become a family man, you know and obviously you’ve seen him compete so many times it’s hard not to respect Donald right now, at this stage and he has my respect.

“Although there will be blood spilled on January 18, it will not be bad blood and for the Mystic Meg prediction, it will be a K.O.”

It will be McGregor’s third fight at welterweight inside the Octagon, following on from his two bouts with Nate Diaz in 2016 where they traded wins.

The fight on January 18 marks McGregor’s return to the Octagon after 15 months out, since his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018.

Cerrone has the most wins in UFC history with 23, and he will fight in his 34th bout on January 18, which will also become a record. However, he has lost his previous two bouts, losing to Justin Gaethje in September 2019 and Tony Ferguson at UFC 238.

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