LAS VEGAS – Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone wanted to make a fashion statement to show Conor McGregor how serious he was about the welterweight fight on Saturday night at UFC 246. But it was a statement that PETA did not appreciate and the potential feud with the animal-triggered rights group.
Cerrone appeared on Wednesday at the press in the Palms Casino in a shiny blazer made of black python skin. In addition to his black shirt and tie, black hat, and rattlesnake boots, his specially designed closet did exactly what he wanted it to do: rattle McGregor.
McGregor is usually the fanciest dresser at these events, with his sharp, three-piece tailored suits. It helps him verbalize superiority. Cerrone wanted to make sure he was dressed as well, if not better. The intent was to send a subtle message that he was there to compete in the octagon and outside.
"He knows Conor can't stand his fashion," Hussein Dalla, a Toronto-based men's designer, told The Post. “Other fighters Conor has fought in the past, he outshone them before the fight. It is part of his psychological warfare. "
Dalla has been attracting Cerrone since 2016 and said he wanted something that would create a "wow" factor.
"Cowboy wanted to show everyone that he was ready for the fight," said Dalla. "We wanted something that when Cowboy faced Conor had a really strong look that was as good, if not better, than Conor."
McGregor became aware and interrupted Wednesday's press conference to receive an unwanted compliment.
"It's a hell of a coat," said McGregor. “I have to give credit when credit is due. It's a damn good coat, brother. "
Both fighters said something about the possibility of PETA being offended and giggling. PETA was very attentive and announced this tweet on Thursday: “We are here to remind you that only COWARDS would brag about carrying an animal that was likely beaten and skinned alive. Why don't you reject your insecurities and only wear your OWN skin? "
Going under McGregor's skin was Cerrone's plan, and the New Mexico rancher did not apologize during a media crime at the UFC facilities outside of Las Vegas on Thursday. This is MMA and being politically correct is not a requirement.
"If it were legal to kill people, I could wear a stupid human jacket," said Cerrone in a clumsy attempt to make a joke. "I have a white buffalo at home and if she croaks I will wear a legendary white buffalo cloak one day."
Cerrone lives on a 40-hectare ranch outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is unlikely to win many fans who support PETA.
"I have a lot of animals, turkeys, goats, chickens and pigs on the ranch, and we kill and eat them all in every way," he said. "I don't go to the store and buy beef. We raise it, kill it and eat it. If there is something inhumane or unjust about raising and killing my own meat for myself, you're done with PETA. Admittedly, I didn't wind up the line to build a python jacket, but damn it was cool so I had to wear it. "
Nobody, not even PETA, is going to spoil Cerrone's week. He and members of his team went to the media session with Harleys on Thursday and said he wanted to "put his knees in the breeze."
This is his spotlight turn after a long career in which he has won the most victories (36-13, 1 NC) and ended in UFC history but has not won a mega-fight.
The fight against McGregor at the main event on ESPN Plus PPV is an opportunity to improve his octagon life work and sign a new six-fight contract with the UFC. He was genuinely excited to have his face on Budweiser cans as a promotion that led to this fight. "How cool is that," he said.
At 36, he has no plans to retire regardless of Saturday's outcome.
"When [Father Time] There is a knock on the door and I tell her to get out of here, ”said Cerrone. "I still have a long way to go. I just want to go out and have a good time. I literally love doing that – it's the most fun I could ever have. There are only a handful of real fighters left, and I'm happy to be one of them. Saturday night we'll blow off the roof. The cowboy shows up for the big one. "
Cerrone may not be a favorite of PETA, but he is a favorite of fans in the UFC, where fans stay loyal to those who are consistently performing well. Cerrone fits this shape. He insisted that he was fit and ready, which Dalla confirmed.
"I measured it a couple of times," Dalla told the Post. “Because of his measurements, Cowboy is in excellent shape. He has a smaller waist and a larger chest. With all the proportions I've seen, he's in great shape for this fight. "