UFC 246 will showcase the return of the most popular martial artist on the planet… Conor McGregor. The event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 18th 2020, at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, United States. UFC Odds are already listed for the event. Here’s a complete betting guide previewing Donald Cerrone vs Conor McGregor, including updated odds and our betting prediction.
Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone
UFC Welterweight Bout
UFC 246, 18th January, live from the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, Las Vegas
I and millions of UFC fans alike were disappointed when it was announced there wouldn’t be an end of year pay-per-view in 2019 and instead, it was declared that we’ll have to wait for two-weeks into the new-year for our first fix of martial arts in 2020. Well, the UFC brass certainly made amends with the spectacle we’re gifted within the main event of UFC 246… The first “champ-champ’, former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor will take on UFC legend and possibly the most dangerous gate-keeper on the roster, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.
Heading into 2020 with huge anticipation amongst the MMA community is a masterful plan to keep the audience engaged and who better to get the job done than Conor McGregor. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas just played host to Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, which became one of the biggest events of 2019. Now, just 8 weeks outside of this event the UFC returns to break some more records with their number #1 draw.
The undercard may lack depth, but McGregor and Cowboy are two of the most popular personalities in the UFC today. For what doesn’t appease those on the preliminary bouts will be sure made up with the main event of the evening.
The animosity between the two already exists, a press conference from 2015 would see McGregor give his opinion on Cowboys style…“You’re stuck in the mud’ he said which led into a heated exchange of words between the two. 5 years later, the stage is set and the paths of Cowboy and McGregor will finally cross. Let’s delve into each fighter’s world, analyze their careers and fighting styles with hope to find a conclusion and UFC 246 betting prediction for Conor McGregor versus Donald Cerrone.
Conor McGregor (21-4-0) [-280 with 5Dimes]
The life and times of Conor McGregor are some of the most memorable experiences for the new-age martial art’s fan. His flamboyant fighting style matched with an extravagant personality has cemented his name in combat sports history. A multi-division champion, the highest-earning athlete in the UFC and a record holder of many… what’s left for the most famous Irishman in the world?
The blue-collar background of McGregor is an inspirational story, from welfare cheques to multi-million dollar deals within the space of two-years was something to behold in McGregor’s early days with the UFC. McGregor was born in Dublin, Ireland and before taking on martial arts fulltime, he was laboring as a tradesman. The passion for fighting he had steered him away from your average day to day graft, the only time McGregor could spare was inside the gym.
Fast-forward to 2008, McGregor had successfully become a two-division champion for British MMA promotion ‘Cage-Warriors’. He’d made enough noise on the English regional scene to catch the attention of UFC president Dana White. McGregor became the second Irishmen in history to be signed by the UFC and made his debut in typical McGregor fashion, a first-round TKO and a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. He’d made his presence known and from here on out, would single-handedly change the business forever.
For the next five years, McGregor made his way through the Featherweight division, Chad Mendes would be the victim to McGregor’s first title win then later, unifying the title against one of the most decorated athletes in MMA history… Jose Aldo. Not only did McGregor defeat Aldo in Brazil, but he also did it within 14 seconds. History was made; the McGregor takeover was in full effect. After his dominance in the Featherweight division, it was only fitting that McGregor would seek gold from the Lightweights, emulating his Cage Warriors success story.
The two-division Champion made his work look simple, almost effortless. With only one loss in the UFC on his record (Nate Diaz) which was already avenged in the rematch, McGregor set his sights on the money. The money was with none other than Money-Mayweather. After huge media attention and success outside of the Octagon, returning to the UFC after a two-year lay-off to face Khabib Nurmagomedov probably wasn’t the wisest move McGregor had ever made.
A thriving whiskey business, epic battles in two divisions, championships won, pay-per-view records were broken… McGregor has been absent in recent years when comparing his in-ring activity against his come-up, but recent interviews may suggest that we might see the “old Conor” return in pursuit of Welterweight fame. A win over Cowboy could put McGregor in a position to take any fight in the division, including a title-fight. Could we see the first-ever 3 division champion in 2020?
Conor McGregor Best Priced at -235 with Sports Interaction
Donald Cerrone (36-13-0) [+251 with Pinnacle]
Potentially the most popular fighter in the UFC who never held championship gold for the company is none other than Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Since 2011, Cowboy has successfully made his way through 23 competitors, losing just 10 of those. He holds the record for the most wins in UFC history (23) and the record for the most finishes (16) in UFC history. Cowboy holds a resume that will be hard to match, let alone one of the most feared weight classes…the Welterweight division. His fight against McGregor will also break another record for the most fights in UFC history (34).
Cowboy was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Much like his opponent, Cowboy comes from humble beginnings. Suffering from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) which was untreated, led Cowboy into many fights as a youngster, which eventually led him into the world of martial arts. After an early successful kick-boxing stint, he would take up MMA full-time in Albuquerque, alongside the likes of Jon Jones, George Saint Pierre, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine.
In 2010, World Extreme Championship (WEC) would merge with the UFC, Cowboy was one of the fighters selected to become a member of the UFC roster after the merger. Possibly, one of the most lucrative and intelligent signings that the UFC ever made without even realizing the superstar they were about to build.
3 of Cowboy’s first four fights were won inside the distance; he made an impact from the moment he affiliates with the company. From 2011 and for the following 9 years, Cowboy would accumulate the highest fight activity. He’s averaged 3 fights per year, every year, for 11 years! How can we not respect and love this man’s accolades?!
2017 would be the worst year in Cowboy’s fighting career. The 3 fights he was scheduled for became three back to back losses, which Cowboy had never experienced in his career. Then, just when everybody was counting him out, a rejuvenated Cowboy returned. From 2018 he then went on a 4-1 fight streak, submitting Mike Perry and knocking out hot prospect Alexander Hernandez. Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje soon put an end to Cowboy’s late-career resurgence, they both stopped Cowboy inside the distance which had left the beer sipping, fist throwing Cowboy in limbo. Where would Cowboy go from here?
Finally, the man who gave the UFC more than any other fighter in history was gifted his money-fight. Conor McGregor needed a return fight after his long hiatus, with both men coming off losses and McGregor wanting to take on the 155 pounders, the matchup at hand made perfect sense. Win or lose, Cowboy will make enough money to last him a lifetime… and nobody deserves it more!
Donald Cerrone Best Priced at +251 with Pinnacle
UFC 246: McGregor vs Cowboy Prediction and Betting Picks
McGregor could’ve taken any fight on the roster but he’s wisely selected his return opponent with consideration. The older, slower version of Cowboy we’ll be presented with at UFC 246 will not be on the same striking-level as McGregor.
The only way I can see Cowboy finding success against McGregor will be to utilize his wrestling offense paired with some cardio draining transitions. Do I think Cowboy will use a game-plan like this? Nope! Cowboy is a true fighter and every time he steps into the octagon we see him exchange in at least one striking battle. It’s very rated to see Cowboy use his takedowns and make the fight a ground game exchange.
How will Cowboy land a punch? It’s going to be near-impossible for Cowboy to land a strike without receiving a count-strike right back at him. McGregor has some of the fastest, most-skilled counter striking in MMA history, especially his counterwork against the straight jab. McGregor will trap the outside arm, which also removes another tool from Cowboy’s belt.
So, Cowboy needs to land a takedown on McGregor which is possible, but again… unlikely. The most dominant grappler in recent times, Khabib Nurmagomedov couldn’t find much wrestling success until McGregor’s cardio started to fade; Cowboy doesn’t push a pace even close to Khabib. I’m not even sure Cowboy will bother with his wrestling at-all.
It doesn’t give me pleasure in discrediting Cowboy to this extent, but I cannot envision a path to victory for him unless I consider extreme circumstances e.g. McGregor’s cardio fails. I think McGregor wins almost every striking exchange on the night, he’ll need to avoid the clinch-work, short strikes and do what he does best, keep his distance and strike with precision. The X-factor will be McGregor’s lay-off in terms of Cowboy’s potential success, if he hasn’t taken his UFC to return serious, he may gas out earlier than expected. With that said, Cowboy doesn’t offer a cardio draining game-plan, he’ll take the center of the octagon and no doubt, be happy to exchange strikes with McGregor.
Surprisingly, McGregor is moving up to 170lbs to fight Cowboy. While Cowboy also has to move back up a weight class after he’d just recently dropped down. 155lbs made sense for McGregor unless the UFC had a plan, and I guess they do. Should McGregor win, I have no doubt that Jorge Masvidal will be waiting on the horizon which could lead to another record-breaking pay-per-view event.
The motivation of McGregor seems to have taken a change for the greater good. In recent interviews, McGregor had almost admitted alcoholism saying that he’s now clean from his product (Proper Twelve Whiskey) and fully focussed on his fight preparations. I expect a version of McGregor that won championships, broke records and made history to turn up on the 18th. His remorse for out of octagon behavior and lack of focus in the gym is something that reminds me of the humble McGregor we’d see when the spotlight was turned off. My love for him has fizzled out like many Irish MMA fans, but I hope he can prove us all wrong and shine a glimmer of hope for Irish MMA once again.
As a professional bettor, the fight odds are not something I want to delve too deep into. Paying the juice on McGregor in a new division, after a long lay-off just isn’t justifiable long-term. I have no doubt McGregor will have his hand raised but it’s the fight game and too many variables revolve around McGregor.
How does McGregor win? The same way he’s defeated Holloway, Poirier, Mendes, Aldo, Diaz and Alvarez, elusive movement and technical, precise striking. If this round reaches the third round, I think we’ll be watching McGregor versus a punch-bag by that time. With that being said, I don’t think we’ll see more than 10 minutes in this contest, with McGregor finding the button within the first two-rounds a likely outcome.
UFC 246 Betting Pick: Conor McGregor by TKO at -145 with William Hill
UFC 246 Fight Card
Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington (women’s bantamweight)
Aleksei Oleinik vs Maurice Greene (heavyweight)
Claudia Gadelha vs Alexa Grasso (strawweight)
Anthony Pettis vs Carlos Ferreira (lightweight)
UFC 246 PRELIMINARY BOUTS
Roxanne Modafferi vs Maycee Barber (women’s flyweight)
Andre Fili vs Sodiq Yusuff (featherweight)
Drew Dober vs Nasrat Haqparast (lightweight)
Chas Skelly vs Grant Dawson (featherweight)
Aleksa Camur vs Justin Ledet (light-heavyweight)
Tim Elliot vs Askar Askarov (flyweight)
Brain Kelleher vs Ode Osbourne (bantamweight)
Sabina Mazo vs JJ Aldrich (women’s flyweight)