Donald Cerrone took issue with the media’s coverage of his upcoming UFC 246 bout with Irish superstar Conor McGregor and suggested his new calmer demeanour should be celebrated accordingly. “It’s just you media guys making [expletive] up,” said Cerrone (professional MMA record 36-13) at the UFC 246 pre-fight press conference in response to their lack of trash-talking leading up to the weekend. “Cowboy” was clearly tired of far-fetched fan and media theories such as a correlation between him hugging his opponent in the Octagon before the fight and them getting knocked out. “Just like they say ‘if you hug ‘Cowboy’ in the ring, you’re gonna get knocked out’ … so gimme a big old-a** hug when we get in there, all right?” Cerrone joked, looking across at Irishman McGregor. “No man, we’re just professionals. Why can’t Conor sit right here and hold himself like he’s doing? This is [expletive] amazing, are you kidding me? “I mean, you guys aren’t getting the clickbait and all the [expletive] you all want, but as a man, my hat’s off to the son of a [expletive] that’s sitting there.” Cerrone also complained about the prevailing narrative that he could beat “The Notorious” if he used his black-belt jiu jitsu skills instead of standing firm on a stand-up only affair. “All you analysts and experts are asking these questions … you’d be [expletive] stupid to think this man doesn’t have a wrestling defence or some kind of grappling defence,” said Cerrone, gesturing at McGregor. “So for me to just walk and be like ‘oh, I’m just gonna take him down and submit him’ – get a [expletive] real life, man. “We’re gonna go in there and fight our a**** off, that’s what’s gonna happen.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Donald Cerrone (@cowboycerrone) on Dec 30, 2019 at 9:15am PST McGregor (21-4) added that the lack of pre-fight mental warfare compared with his previous bouts was simply because of his reaction to the fight’s surroundings. The pair’s relationship has thawed since their first encounter at a press conference in 2015 and there was no reason for any bad blood. “I don’t know, I’m as real as it gets. I react how the situation is and that’s it. The situations have been a specific way for some time. This situation seems to be a little bit different, so I react accordingly. There is nothing false, nothing fake, it’s just me being real,” said McGregor, who predicted a knockout finish over Cerrone on the weekend.