Connect with us

MMA

UFC 246 McGregor vs Cerrone

When Conor McGregor makes his return to the UFC this Saturday night in Las Vegas it will have been well over a year since their biggest and most controversial star fought for the promotion. Conor is 31 years old and has not won a fight in the UFC since he was 27. McGregor’s career path strangely resembles that of another famous and controversial fighter: Mike Tyson. He burst on to the scene dominating and psyching out opponents before they ever touched gloves with him. He like Tyson set records for becoming a champion along with the immense money and fame that quickly followed. Tyson’s demise and time in prison have many wondering if McGregor’s story ends up the same way.

If McGregor’s career were broken into a play, he most certainly would be entering the third act of his career. His meteoric rise to take the mantle as the biggest name in the sport and subsequent fall mired with allegations of substance abuse, sexual assault, and clear losses when he did fight are acts 1 and 2. His fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is the beginning of that third act. McGregor has sworn he is a new man leading up to this fight, doing less promotion and antagonizing his opponent. He maintains his innocence as it pertains to the two separate sexual assault allegations pending against him but he also tightly controls which questions he answers when journalists ask him about them. Several fans and media outlets have questioned why McGregor is fighting at the heaviest weight of his career for a ‘planned’ bout; particularly as he continues to make overtures for a rematch vs the undisputed 155lbs champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

There is so much uncertainty heading into this fight for McGregor but so little of it has to do with the outcome of the actual bout vs Cerrone and more to with how the 3rd act of his career is going to go. Does it end in disgrace & defeat like so many former champions in combat sports that it’s become a cliché or can he once again become a dominant force in the UFC and resolve the personal demons & legal issues that he alone is responsible for. Combat sports history leads one to assume it will likely be the former and not the latter. However, Conor McGregor has made a career of doing the improbable; Saturday night the current rises on his 3rd act.

Below I’ll breakdown all the fights on the UFC 246 main card and offer some fight predictions to hopefully help your bank accounts. Let’s get to the card:

Main Card Predictions:

Conor “The Notorious” McGregor v Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (Main Event)
Odds: McGregor -300 v Cerrone +230
Prediction: McGregor’s camp swears he’s in the best shape of his career and has gotten rid of all the distractions that allegedly plagued his camp before the Khabib fight. Rumors are swirling about a potential injury to Cerrone hampering him entering this fight. We won’t know for sure about who is hurt and who had good camps until the bell rings Saturday but assuming both men are healthy, had great camps, and have come to fight this has the potential to be a fast violent fight that ends in an early stoppage.

McGregor cannot take for granted that his power will translate to 170lbs but fortunately Cerrone is susceptible to clean left-hand counters which play right into McGregor’s best punch. Cowboy’s strategy is to likely utilize his superior grappling and take Conor to the mat but I am concerned he wants to be the first to end Conor in the UFC via strikes; this is a mistake. I think this fight starts and stays standing as both mend trade their best shots. I worry about Cerrone’s chin having gone through so many wars and I think McGregor’s speed surprises Cowboy and fans get a vintage McGregor stoppage (McGregor by KO (-300) / Under 1.5 rounds +110)

 

Holly Holm v Raquel Pennington
Odds: Holm -130 v Pennington +105
Prediction: The line caught me by surprise as I think Holm is a significantly better fighter than Pennington. However, coming off a brutal knockout loss to Amanda Nunes I can understand why the line is a little bit lower until we see how Holm looks post-Nune loss. I just can’t trust Pennington who’s lost every single major fight when she steps up her competition. She is the definition of a tough grinder who is never an easy out for any opponent but doesn’t do anything at an elite level to both top-ranked fighters. Holm is getting up there in years but I still believe her to be a top 5 fighter at this weight class making her too much for Pennington’s limited skill set. (Holm via decision -130)

 

Anthony Pettis v Carlos Diego Ferreira
Odds: Pettis +180 v Ferreira -220
Prediction: It bums me out to think Anthony Pettis may no longer contend for a belt in the UFC but I think at this point in his career that is where he is at. He’s struggled mightily against the tops of the 155lbs division and outside of a ‘Hail Mary’ miracle stoppage vs Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson he’s lost 2 of his last 3 fights. Ferreira might not have the name recognition of Pettis but he is an absolute nightmare matchup for anyone. His last loss was in 2015 to Dustin Poirier and outside of his USADA suspension in 2017 he’s remained active besting some tough opponents headed into this fight with Pettis. I think he will give Pettis problems on both the feet and ground and eventually wear him down in the later rounds for a dominant decision victory. (Ferreira by decision -220)

 

Aleksei Oleinik v Maurice Greene
Odds: Oleinik +100 v Greene -120
Prediction: The old days of two lumbering heavyweights when non-title fights in the UFC would be on a card are long gone. Both Oleinik and Greene may not be household names to casual MMA fans but they are both super athletic heavyweights who can finish fights at any time during the bout. Oleinik is a monster on the mat with his submissions and Greene has a furious counter-punch that can end this fight quickly. If Oleinik can get Greene to the mat I suspect he’ll finish him via choke. However, he has to survive getting blasted by that counter first before he can get a takedown to attempt a submission. I don’t think he survives that shot and we see an early stoppage by Greene. (Greene by TKO -120)

 

Claudia Gadelha v Alexa Grasso (FIGHT CANCELED DUE To GRASSO MISSING WEIGHT)
Odds: Gadelha -115 v Grasso -115
Prediction: You have two fighters who like to eke out close decisions attempting to continue their win streaks. I don’t particularly like this matchup on the main card of a PPV event because I anticipate a lot of clinches and grappling which tend to not be as entertaining to most fans who only watch the PPV events. I think if Grasso can avoid getting taken down she will have the edge in both strikes landed and overall output making her the winner in the eyes of the judges. (Grasso by razor-thin decision -115) / (Over 2.5 rounds -155)

 

Prediction Record since 2016 to Date (88-69-1) (+$1040)
• Record & predictions based on Win vs Loss predictions only. Unless specified otherwise I use increments of $100 (for + odds predictions) & $110 (for – odds bets) as hypothetical wagers for each prediction. Predictions & Records are for entertainment value only
All stats provided from http://UFC.COM & http://www.fightmetric.com

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.