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UFC 246: McGregor v Cerrone – is Conor still the star attraction in the UFC?

| 09.01.2020

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We’ve not seen Conor McGregor in the UFC octagon since his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov over 15 months ago, but on Saturday 18th January, he’s back.

‘The Notorious’ will take to the octagon in Las Vegas, where he’ll be looking to beat the experienced Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone to claim his first win in three years.

Can the former two-division champion get back to winning ways and reclaim his spot as the star of the UFC? The action’s live on BT Sport Box Office, with the main event expected to start at around 5:00 in the morning.

McGregor v Cerrone fight odds

Despite not stepping foot on the UFC canvas since his defeat to Khabib, ‘The Notorious’ is the favourite to return to winning ways at 1/3.

‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has been a regular in the octagon, fighting four times last year, but he’s lost his last two bouts. The 36-year-old is at 12/5 with our traders to spoil the Irishman’s comeback.

McGregor has 21 wins to his name, with 18 of those coming by way of KO or TKO. He’s odds-on to claim another knockout win at 1/2, with a Decision win priced at 9/1, and a Submission victory out at 20s.

Win by Submission is the most likely route to victory for Cerrone according to our traders at 5/1, with a Decision or KO/TKO win both priced at 8/1.

McGregor’s rise, fall and subsequent rise?

There’s no doubt ‘The Notorious’ gets people talking.

A spectacular knockout of Jose Aldo and two bruising fights against Nate Diaz made McGregor a household name.

Not content with capturing the UFC lightweight title by beating Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, McGregor laced up his boxing gloves for a blockbuster showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. the following year.

Defeat to Khabib followed on his return to the octagon, before the Dublin man abruptly announced his retirement from the sport in March last year.

McGregor also hit the headlines when he was charged with strong-armed robbery and fined for assaulting a man in a Dublin pub in 2019.

The Irishman is targeting a busy schedule on his return to the octagon in 2020, as he plots to rediscover his best form, as is already targeting the likes of Jorge Masvidal and a Khabib rematch.

His timely return to the Octagon should see him get back on the straight and narrow, but can he get back to his best and once again become the face of the UFC? Or at 31-years-old is the inactivity going to show?

Can Cerrone cause an upset?

Donald Cerrone v Justin Gaethje

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (L) takes aim at Justin Gaethje

‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, 36, is no amateur when it comes to battling in the octagon, with 50 professional fights to his name and a record standing at 36 wins, 13 defeats and a no contest.

Cerrone’s fight game differs drastically from that of McGregor’s, and he’ll be no walk in the park. His strength’s lie in his grappling and submissions, with a high success rate when battling on the canvas.

Almost 50% of the American’s professional victories have come via submission, with 17 of his 36 victories ending that way, and he’ll be buoyed by knowing all four of ‘The Notorious’ defeats have come by way of Submission.

Cerrone will need to make sure he keeps his distance from McGregor, and guard himself from the Irishman’s lethal stand up game.

Four of the Denver native’s last six defeats have come by stoppage, including his last two fights against Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson, which is cause for concern when sixteen of McGregor’s eighteen KO’s have been down to his striking ability.

With McGregor rarely going the distance, Cowboy may look to draw out the contest to wear ‘The Notorious’ down, with McGregor likely to spend his energy in the opening rounds looking win the bout early.

Big fight previews, betting tips and analysis – Coral has it all.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Drew Goodsell

Drew is a journalism graduate who closely follows American sports, focussing on the NBA and NFL. He also has a keen interest in all things football, paying regular attention to the Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.