McGregor v Cerrone would be 'fans' favourite'

Conor McGregor in training with striking coach Owen Roddy
Owen Roddy has helped Conor McGregor to win UFC titles in two weight divisions

A fight between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone would be a "fans' favourite" says the Irishman's striking coach Owen Roddy.

A potential showdown between the two fighters moved a step closer following 'Cowboy' Cerrone's impressive TKO victory over Alex Hernandez in January.

McGregor responded on social media, saying: "For a fight like that Donald, I'll fight you. Congratulations."

"It's an exciting fight, who wouldn't want to see Conor and Cowboy go at it?" said Roddy.

Both fighters are renowned for their clinical striking and knock-out wins, with McGregor a former two-weight world champion while American Cerrone holds the UFC record for the most wins and finishes in the promotion.

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Conor McGregor and Owen Roddy

On Friday, Cerrone posted on social media: "Good news. Looks like we get to fight for 155 interim title"

Roddy is excited by the prospect of both men stepping into the octagon, adding that 'Cowboy' is: "Somebody who would want to stand and have a bang with Conor."

It's not just the expectation of fireworks inside the cage, as the verbal sparring between two of the sport's most charismatic characters has the potential to be box office viewing itself.

"The back and forth in the lead-up would be great," added Roddy.

UFC president Dana White also confirmed he would be willing to make the fight, telling MMAjunkie that: "If these two want to fight, I'm down."

Potential rematch with Khabib

McGregor suffered a fourth-round submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October, in a fight that was marred by an infamous post-fight melee that attracted headlines across the globe.

Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone (right) fights against Alex Hernandez during their lightweight fight at UFC Fight Night at Barclays Center in January 2019 in New York City
Donald Cerrone (r) beat Alex Hernandez (l) in New York in January

The Las Vegas showpiece left UFC fans hoping for a rematch between the two fighters.

"If that fight has to happen again, and it probably does, it will happen down the line. Whether it's the next fight I don't know," Roddy continued.

"Conor is the biggest draw in MMA, there is no doubting that, and if he really pushed for the Khabib fight he could probably swing it."

The striking coach was cage-side for the fight and for the ugly fracas that erupted afterwards when the lightweight champion scaled the cage and lunged towards the Irishman's corner immediately after his victory.

The Russian's actions sparked a number of brawls between the rival teams, forcing security and law enforcement to intervene but Roddy takes a diplomatic view on the situation and is keen to move on from the incident.

"It is what it is," he maintained.

Conor McGregor's loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov was the second defeat of his UFC career
McGregor's loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov was the second defeat of his UFC career

"Everybody is watching people hit each other in a cage, emotions get heightened. There was talk back and forth. Nobody was seriously injured and obviously both of them have been punished for it.

"It's in the past now. If we cross paths again, then they go in and do it again, but I've no ill feelings for any of them."

A return to boxing?

McGregor is committed to a further five fights with the UFC but the 30-year-old was also involved in one of the most lucrative bouts in boxing history when he faced five-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather and the Irishman has not ruled out a return to the ring in the future.

Roddy was in McGregor's corner for the Mayweather contest when two-weight boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi was also part of the training camp.

Cerrone posted on social media
Cerrone is keen to take on Ireland's Conor McGregor

Malignaggi sparred with the Irishman during his preparations for the Mayweather bout but he quit after images of them training were released and the pair have since traded insults over social media.

The bad blood between Malignaggi and McGregor has led to speculation of a lucrative fight between the former sparring partners.

"Anything is possible," said Roddy. "You never know what Conor is going to do - only he knows."

As for McGregor's next move, his coach believes a "very exciting" showdown with 'Cowboy' could be next.

"Watch this space," he suggests.