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|UFC 246 Main Card|
|Conor McGregor vs Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone||Welterwight|
|Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington||Bantamweight|
|Aleksei Oleinik vs Maurice Green||Heavyweight|
|Brian Kelleher vs Ode Osbourne||Bantamweight|
|Anthony Pettis vs Carlos Diego Ferreira||Lightweight|
Every now and again a fight comes up with such high stakes that you can’t see how one could ever come back from a loss. For Conor McGregor (21-4), the bout against Donald Cerrone (36-13, 1NC) in UFC 246 is that fight. Join The Roar for live coverage of UFC 246 from 2pm (AEDT).
McGregor has been in this position before. After he was chocked out by Nate Diaz (20-12) at UFC 196 in 2016 – which feels like a lifetime ago – he took Diaz on again five months later and avenged his loss.
He then went on to become the ‘Champ Champ’ at UFC 205 later that year, that is, simultaneously holding the UFC Featherweight and Lightweight titles.
It was two years (and one lucrative boxing bout) later that we got to witness McGregor again – this time against undefeated UFC Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0).
To say that fight did not go well for McGregor would be like saying the captain of the Titanic’s first voyage did not go well.
With that said, there’s no shame in losing to Khabib. He’s arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time – and certainly the best the lightweight division has ever seen.
But this fight is different.
Cowboy Cerrone has been around for a very long time, but he’s never reached the pinnacle. He’s an elite fighter, no doubt, but not good enough to be considered one of the top two or three.
Simply put, he’s a gatekeeper, and losing to a gatekeeper is not good for your career. Not to mention he’s lost his last two fights via TKO.
McGregor’s attitude going into this fight is in stark contrast to what we are used to seeing from the Notorious one. He’s humbler, nicer and is not trying to get into Cowboy’s head at all.
It may also help that he has not been drinking in the lead up to this fight, unlike the one against Khabib.
McGregor insists he is still the same person, and insists there will be bloodshed.
His predictions have become a little more tame as well, but we’ll have to see if a mature McGregor outside the octagon translates to a mature McGregor inside it.
Cowboy comes into this fight in the optimum position – nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If Cowboy loses this fight, no one will think any different of him. He’s still got the most fights, wins and performance bonuses in the history of the UFC. He will also have a lot more money.
But if he wins, he would be in prime position for a title shot – either at welterweight or lightweight. It would surely be his last chance to get his hands on UFC gold – especially after the manner in which he lost his last two fights.
Conor McGregor thrives under pressure and shines under the spotlight. He’s a cleaner, crisper striker who is wildly accurate. If he can find his old form, he can knock Cowboy out. Cowboy’s best chance is get a hold of McGregor and suffocate him – he’s still very dangerous on the ground and we know McGregor is vulnerable there.
Conor McGregor to defeat Donald Cerrone via TKO in the second round.
Date: Sunday, 19 January (Australian time)
Time: 2pm (AEDT)
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Betting: McGregor $1.35, Cerrone $3.15
3 x 5 minute rounds, main event 5 x 5 minute rounds
Main Event – Welterweight: #13 ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor (21-4) vs #5 Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (36-13, 1NC)
Women’s bantamweight: #3 Holly ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm (12-5) vs #5 Raquel ‘Rocky’ Pennington (10-8)
Heavyweight: #12 Aleksei ‘The Boa Constrictor’ Oleinik (57-12-1) vs Maurice ‘The Crochet Boss’ Greene (8-4)
Men’s bantamweight: Brian Kelleher (19-10) vs Ode Osbourne (6-2)
Women’s strawweight: #6 Claudia ‘Claudinha’ Gadelha (16-4) vs #11 Alexa Grasso (11-2) (cancelled)
Lightweight: #9 Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis (22-9) vs Diego Ferreira (16-2)