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Nate Diaz defends Stephen A. Smith, says Joe Rogan and Conor McGregor owe Smith an apology

Stephen A. Smith's feud with Joe Rogan won't die. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith gained an important ally in his latest verbal back-and-forth with UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Nate Diaz defended Smith on Wednesday, saying Smith’s assessment of the Conor McGregor-Donald Cerrone fight was accurate, and that McGregor and Rogan need to apologize to Smith.

Diaz, 34, echoed one of Smith’s points, saying, “The fight was over before it started.”

All of this began just moments after McGregor defeated Cerrone at UFC 246. McGregor needed just 40 seconds to beat Cerrone.

Following the match, Rogan and Smith appeared on ESPN to break down the fight. Smith was critical of Cerrone’s performance, saying Cerrone “didn’t show up” for the fight.

That comment blew up when both McGregor and Rogan called out Smith in the days following the fight. On his podcast, Rogan said Smith “should not be allowed to talk about fighting.” McGregor hopped in and said Smith should apologize for disrespecting Cerrone.

Smith, as you might expect, fired back Wednesday. In an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Smith explained his love of boxing and mixed martial arts. Smith also told Helwani he respects McGregor and Rogan, but he’s “not going to apologize one bit.”

Cerrone and McGregor fought on Jan. 18, meaning it’s been more than 10 days since this whole controversy started. Smith is usually relentless when it comes to verbal arguments, but this is the first time he’s going up against someone like Rogan.

Knowing both Rogan and Smith, this back-and-forth could last forever unless one of them is willing to move on.

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