Conor McGregor is back, and the man rewarded with the ‘red panty night’ is Donald Cerrone which is fully deserved and creates a thrilling match-up.
‘The Notorious’ one is finally back in action after his grudge match defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov. That loss was his only MMA fight since becoming the first ever simultaneous two-division champion back in 2016 when he put on a boxing clinic to dust off Eddie Alvarez. Controversies outside the octagon and a hand injury have kept McGregor out but now the UFC have their biggest star back to jack up the pay-per-view numbers.
Fan-favourite and the UFC record holder for the most wins, most finishes, most knockdowns and tied most bouts in UFC history – ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is the man assigned to create the spectacle and the fight will be at welterweight which should favour the veteran as the bigger man. However, he is coming off two beatings – a doctor’s stoppage loss against Tony Ferguson and another knockout loss to Justin Gaethje only four months ago but this is business as usual for ‘Cowboy’.
Out of all the fights available for McGregor, this is such a good pairing as we should see both men in their element, hunting a knockout with masterful technique. Cerrone is a better grappler but McGregor’s perceived lack of grappling skills is exaggerated and Cerrone’s ego is likely to keep the fight standing anyway to hunt the finish.
It is expected that vintage McGregor to show up at UFC 246. He appears to be more motivated and hungry whereas Cerrone is cashing in after two brutal losses. That said, you can never count ‘Cowboy’ out with his skill set. Cerrone needs to start quickly and not let McGregor settle and download the data he needs to dictate the distance. Cerrone is worth a bet as the underdog but this is a good stylistic match-up for McGregor despite the size difference.
With all of the tape on Cerrone, Conor is expected to set a series of traps to set up his left hand and we know he has the power to finish with one combination.