UFC 246: McGregor vs Cerrone Preview
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Friday, January 17, 2020
The UFC will kick off a new year and decade on Saturday night, when the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada hosts UFC 246. The event has garnered plenty of attention as it features the return of “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, who takes on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
The buildup for this fight has been much different than what fans have been accustomed to seeing when McGregor competes in the octagon—he has been more composed, complimentary of his opponent, and respectful—and have many wondering if this will be the best version of Conor McGregor.
Although McGregor is the favorite, the bout taking place at welterweight does benefit Cerrone as he has competed in the division on multiple occasions and he does not have to cut as much weight to make 170lbs.
Cerrone was quite active in 2019; he fought four times during the year--- defeated Alexander Hernandez and then Al Iaquinta, before losing his next two fights with Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
McGregor on the other hand, has not competed since October 2018, when he was defeated by UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The former two-division champion has been involved in a lot of controversy outside the octagon however, McGregor feels that those were life lessons and that he has learned from his past mistakes.
This past November, I conducted an interview with TSN MMA analyst Robin Black on Vibe 105.5FM in Toronto and when I brought up McGregor’s return, Robin spoke on the fan’s expectations for McGregor and that the outcome could affect the interest in his next fight:
“We’ll either be tentative on his first fight or we’ll be all in and either one is tricky. If we’re tentative and he overperforms, we’ll become even more invested---more people will pay attention to him. If he underperforms, that may be the end of him being a big powerful influential fighter.”
McGregor vs Cerrone is a very intriguing fight because of all the possible future matchups for the win. If McGregor wins convincingly, that may very well set the stage for a rematch with Khabib or Lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson should he defeat Khabib in April or he may decide to go in a different direction and continue fighting in the welterweight division, which would set up possible bouts with Jorge Masvidal, Colby Convington, or even Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.
McGregor can also return to boxing after this bout as a rematch with Floyd Mayweather or proposed bout with Manny Pacquiao could bring in another massive payday.
Photo Credit: UFC