- Conor McGregor makes his return to the octagon against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
- McGregor lost in his most recent matchup against Khabib Nurmagomedov, the reigning UFC Lightweight champion
- Both McGregor and Cerrone have a lot on the line in this fight.
LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor, long absent from the UFC ring, makes his return against an opponent many think that he will be able to easily handle – Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
Will it actually be all fun and games for the Irishman? Our breakdown is ahead:
McGregor makes his return to UFC after losing his last fight at the hands of the dominant Khabib Nurmagomedov, a fight he could no longer avoid.
Khabib shattered Conor’s mystique and made him look in every way the media creation that Khabib claimed him to be. Now, McGregor has to prove he belongs at the top of the rankings after his performance against the reigning king of the division.
McGregor has been handed a matchup that he should be able to dominate in Donald Cerrone. Cerrone is one of the oldest fighters in MMA and has years of tape that McGregor can use to determine his tendencies.
The real question for McGregor is if he is the fighter he used to be – the dominant hard-nosed striker who ruled MMA for years.
McGregor’s style should give him an additional advantage over Cerrone, as opposed to just being thought of as the better fighter, McGregor might have a matchup advantage as well. Cerrone has struggled with strikers – only one of his losses has been via submission, while six have been via knockout.
McGregor enters as a significant favorite, -325 to win, which are incredibly short odds in the fight game.
One thing to be aware of for McGregor backers: he seems to be looking past this fight, at future potential matchups both inside and outside the UFC. Could he be underestimating Cowboy?
Cowboy is one of the most respected veterans in the UFC. It’s rare for any competitor to reach Cowboy’s age and experience level and still be able to compete at the highest levels of the sport. Cerrone will need to prove that he can compete in order to have a prayer against McGregor.
Cerrone has a lot of disadvantages to overcome in this fight. First, McGregor is younger than him, and, while Cerrone is taller, he doesn’t have a significant reach advantage over the Irishman.
Second, McGregor has competed on levels of the sport that Cerrone has never reached, and it’s entirely possible that he is simply a fighter that Cerrone cannot match.
Finally, Cerrone has struggled with strikers in the past, and there have been rumors that he is injured entering the fight with McGregor.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) January 15, 2020
All in all, this is a bad matchup for Cerrone on multiple levels, and in order to win either he has to do something spectacular, or Conor has to have a serious off-night. There’s a reason the odds are set where they are.
One of the good things about the media circus that surrounds Conor McGregor is that it allows some online sportsbooks to offer props on the events surrounding the fight.
For example, one interesting bet is that you can put action on is the -350 odds that McGregor will do the “Billionaire Strut” during the UFC 246 broadcast.
One could also get odds on who McGregor will mention in the post-fight interview, with odds being available on Khabib Nurmagomedov, Floyd Mayweather, Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman, and Nate Diaz. Of course, it’s worth noting that if McGregor loses, he might not have a post-fight interview.