Event: UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy
Location & Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: Saturday, January 18th 2020
Start time: Main Card: 10 p.m. ET, Prelims 8 p.m. ET, Early Prelims 6:15 p.m. ET
Where to watch: Main Card on Pay-per-view, Prelims on ESPN, Early Prelims on ESPN+
The UFC is looking to start 2020 off strong, and what better way to do so than a pay-per-view headlined by "The Notorious" Conor McGregor!
I can’t say I’m a fan of Conor’s out-of-the-cage antics, but there’s no understating the spectacle and entertainment he creates when he’s in the Octagon. He’s one of the few MMA fighters that can draw the eyes of the general public and lock them into an evening of watching “cage fights”.
On January 18th he makes the walk to the cage, 14 months removed from his last fight against reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and just over 3 years since his last win against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.
He’s now back to take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who’s a future UFC Hall of Famer, and one of the best to never win a UFC title.
Cerrone holds a host of prestigious records in the UFC; the most wins (23), the most finishes (16), the most post-fight bonuses (18) and the most knockdowns (20). Cowboy’s accomplishments are nothing short of amazing, and his love for fighting has made him a fan favorite. Many see this opportunity to headline against McGregor as a long-overdue payday, but you’d be fooling yourself if you think Cowboy’s taking this fight just for the money.
Besides this card’s main event, there’s not a lot to get excited about. There’s some fun bouts and some interesting fighters, but there’s no mistaking that this Pay-Per-View card has been lightly stacked as they know the main event will do all the selling. With that being said, let’s jump into my picks and predictions for UFC 246: Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone!:
Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
Welterweight (170 lbs) Main Event
I expect this fight to go one of two ways; either McGregor KO’s Cowboy early, or Cowboy pulls off a submission. McGregor doesn’t pose any submission threat against someone with Cowboy’s ground game, and a Cerrone knockout would be very surprising as Conor’s chin has never really faulted. It’s not unfathomable to think that either guy could win a decision, but it’s definitely unlikely given Conor’s history of bad cardio and Cowboy’s suspect durability.
Cowboy’s no slouch on the feet, in fact he’s arguably the more versatile striker, he just lacks the speed and one-shot knockout power that Conor holds. The result of this will likely mean he’ll take more damage, even if he were to land the more strikes. Conor also bares unmatched distance management, meaning that he can counter quickly and punish his opponents unlike anyone else.
The biggest weaknesses for Conor are his cardio and ground game. Cerrone’s got a solid gas tank, and holds a black-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), both are worrying for McGregor considering all four of his losses have come via submission. What is reassuring though is how far along his wrestling has come. As seen in the Khabib fight, McGregor was able to sprawl and keep Khabib to just 3 takedowns, which is pretty damn impressive. And even when he was taken down, he demonstrated his ability to get back to his feet, even against a wrestler as skilled as Khabib.
All in all, I see this being a striking contest. Cerrone knows he has the advantage on the mat but he’s a game fighter, and he’ll likely want to test McGregor on the feet. He’ll be able to contend there for a while, but it’s a dangerous game to play against someone with Conor’s knockout power. I expect that Cerrone’s reluctance to take this fight to the ground early will give Conor the window he needs to end the fight with one of his trademarked left hands.
Pick: Conor McGregor by KO/TKO or Disqualification – 2.5 Units @ -150 (to Return 4.17 Units)
UFC 246 Full Fight Card Predictions:
UFC 246 Main Event Prediction:
Welterweight (170 lbs): Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone – Conor McGregor via KO/TKO
UFC 246 Main Card Predictions:
(W) Bantamweight (135 lbs): Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington – Holly Holm via Decision
Heavyweight (265 lbs): Alexey Oleinik vs. Maurice Greene – Alexey Oleinik via Submission
(W) Strawweight (115 lbs): Claudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso – Alexa Grasso via Decision
Lightweight (155 lbs): Anthony Pettis vs. Diego Ferreira – Diego Ferreira via Decision
UFC 246 Prelim Card Predictions:
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Roxanne Modafferi vs. Maycee Barber – Maycee Barber via KO/TKO
Featherweight (145 lbs): Andre Fili vs. Sodiq Yusuff – Sodiq Yusuff via Decision
Lightweight (155 lbs): Nasrat Haqparast vs. Drew Dober – Nasrat Haqparast via Decision
Featherweight (145 lbs): Chas Skelly vs. Grant Dawson – Grant Dawson via Decision
Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): Justin Ledet vs. Aleksa Camur – Aleksa Camur via KO/TKO
Flyweight (125lbs): Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov – Tim Elliott via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Brian Kelleher vs. Ode Osbourne – Ode Osbourne via Submission
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): JJ Aldrich vs. Sabina Mazo – JJ Aldrich via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change.
What time does the McGregor fight start?
The main card for UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy starts at 10 p.m. ET, with McGregor vs. Cerrone expected to start at around midnight ET.
How to watch the McGregor fight?
UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy is available on PPV, with the prelims and early prelims available on ESPN and ESPN+ respectively.
How tall is Conor McGregor?
Conor McGregor is 5 ft 9 in tall, or 175 cm. He’ll be taking on Donald Cerrone who is 6 ft 1 in tall, and will be Conor’s tallest UFC opponent to date.