Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone main events UFC 246. After months of speculation, finally, Conor McGregor makes his UFC return against Donald Cerrone on the first PPV of next year. McGregor has been away from the sport ever since his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. It has been a while since McGregor has been on the winning column. His last win came against Eddie Alvarez back in UFC 205. Hence it’s needless to say that Conor needs a win to get back to the top of the mountain.
On the other hand, Donald Cerrone is coming off two losses from two of the best in the division, Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Although it’s understandable why fans think that it is an easy fight for Conor the resume of Cerrone would certainly demolish that notion. Especially because they will compete at the welterweight division and not at lightweight. Some fans believe that Conor’s boxing and footwork would be too much for Cerrone who has been on a decline lately and Conor would get the job done in the early round. And some fans believe Cerrone’s experience and the ground game combined with his striking would help him get the W on January 18th.
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Let’s have a look at what these UFC fighters’ predictions for McGregor vs Cerrone when asked by MMACrazyTV.
UFC lightweight, Kevin Lee is leaning towards the Notorious one as he stated:
“I see Conor just kind of sticking him with that left hand. I think they know that too. It’s the right pick for him. Cowboy stands a little too tall. The size might play a big factor in that one. But I just don’t see no way around Conor being slicker with his boxing”
The former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman favors the experience and ground game of Donald Cerrone in the fight as he believes Cerrone would be able to expose Conor’s ground game and win via submission. Weidman predicted:
“I have to give it to Cowboy. I think he would use some wrestling and I think he would wear on him. We have seen Conor kind of had some issues with cardio going into later rounds. Cowboy is the bigger guy. So I think with the wrestling, cage work, keeping him at distance with his range and strikes, I would say he is taking it to the ground and submit him.”
UFC heavyweight, Derrick Lewis kept it short and simple and favors the head kick of Cerrone over the left hand of Conor.
“I think Cerrone will catch him with a head kick and wabble him and get him out of there.
UFC welterweight and former number one title contender, Stephen Thompson could not come to any conclusion as he stated:
“Both have very good striking. I think Conor McGregor got the distance management down pad a little bit better. But Donald Cerrone is a tough dude. It’s kind of up ion the air with those two. It’s been a while since Conor McGregor fought so we don’t know if he has got any cage rust. And Cerrone is coming off a loss.”
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UFC light heavyweight, Corey Anderson believes Conor would be able to hold his own on the ground against Cerrone and would get the job done on his return.
“I think Conor gets that one. I think both of them are gonna strike. I think he is a little longer than Cerrone. Now Cerrone has a ground game to put him away, but Conor is not completely oblivious to the ground game. He did pretty well-defending takedown from Khabib for a little bit and he took Diaz down but he got caught.” said Aderson.
UFC welterweight, Vicente Luque predicted:
“Normally at the best of both, I would say Conor has the advantage. But at this moment Conor has been off for a while. I would say it’s a 50-50 fight.”
UFC analyst and commentator, Dan Hardy gave some insights on how the weight and Cerrone’s ground game makes the difference the fight. Hardy claimed that Cerrone is likely to perform much better at welterweight and his ground game might play a crucial role against Conor.
“I honestly think that’s a good fight for Conor. I am a big fan of Cowboy at welterweight. I think when he moved down to lightweight maybe some physical weaknesses showed themselves again. I feel like he is more durable at welterweight. And I think with Conor’s footwork and his ability to counterpunch might be a problem for Cowboy.”
Bellator’s bantamweight and the teammate of Conor McGregor, James Gallagher seems very confident that Conor gets the job done against Cowboy as claims that it’s a bad matchup for Cerrone. Gallagher stated:
“That’s a very very bad stylistic matchup for Cerrone. He is a very slow starter against one of the hardest hitting fastest most powerful man in the whole division. I can’t see it last but 45 seconds. If Cerrone takes it to later rounds it could be a different fight.”
Though on paper it seems Conor gets the job done easily. But the experience of the veteran Cerrone has to be taken into consideration. That apart we don’t know what version of Conor we are going to get on January 18th. If Conor who destroyed Alvarez in the shows up then it’s going to be a tough night for Cowboy. Similarly, at the welterweight division, Cowboy is a different fighter. Coming off this early from a devastating knockout loss to Gaethje seems to be a concern if you are a Cowboy fan but at welterweight, he would be able to absorb the shots much better.
Conor McGregor is one of the best fighters in the first round when it comes to striking. He will be looking to do some serious damage in the early rounds compared to the Cowboy who is usually a slow starter. Now coming to the ground game, Cerrone’s ground game is very underrated. He does have the ability to do well against Conor on the ground, but Conor can defend the takedowns in the early rounds as we saw in the fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone is an intriguing fight, especially at the welterweight division. And the stakes can not be higher when the pride of Ireland, Conor McGregor squares off against Donald Cerrone in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.
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