We are only into mid-January and there’s not even a title fight on the card, but Saturday’s UFC 246 from Las Vegas is one of the most anticipated MMA events of the year because it’s the long-overdue return of Conor McGregor to the Octagon. Here’s a look at his fight vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and the Mybookie UFC odds.
UFC 246 McGregor vs Cerrone Odds, Preview & Prediction
- When: Saturday, 10 PM ET (main card)
- Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
- TV: PPV
- Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Conor McGregor (21-4) vs Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-13)McGregor is a -350 favorite for this welterweight bout and Cerrone at +275. No title is at stake. McGregor returns to the welterweight division for the first time since August 2016. He went 1-1 during his first stint in the weight class, both against Nate Diaz.
McGregor hasn’t won a fight since he became a rare two-division UFC champion, adding the lightweight belt to his featherweight title with a November 2016 second-round TKO of Eddie Alvarez.
Change of PlansMcGregor next fought in the boxing ring against unbeaten legend Floyd Mayweather in August 2017. It ended with a dominant Mayweather stopping an outclassed McGregor by TKO in the 10th round. There was no logical reason to give McGregor a chance in a boxing ring, but he was largely backed by the fans in attendance in Las Vegas and took a lot of betting action as a big underdog McGregor has said he would like to fight Mayweather – who retired again after that bout – once more in the ring.
Not sure that will happen, but the first fight was hugely successful financially and made McGregor a much bigger star than he was in the MMA. The fight was ordered through 4.3 million domestic pay-per-views, and that it brought in revenue exceeding $600 million. That was the second-biggest boxing match ever in those terms, surpassed only by Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2015. McGregor believes if certain adjustments were made in preparation for their fist fight, he would have won. A rematch would have a different outcome, according to McGregor.
McGregor has said there had been a verbal agreement to have an MMA fight after the previous bout between he and Mayweather, but that that was something he no longer wished to pursue because he knows it won’t become a reality. No way Mayweather is fighting MMA style as he’d get killed.
Recent HistoryMcGregor returned to the Octagon in October 2018 and lost to unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title via fourth-round submission – all four of McGregor’s losses are by submission. The camps for the two fighters got into a brawl after and both fighters were suspended. During the layoff, he McGregor has faced several legal issues, including a second allegation of sexual assault.
It’s expected that McGregor will get a rematch with Khabib later this year if Khabib wins his title defense in April at UFC 249 against No. 1 lightweight contender Tony Ferguson. That fight has been booked four times before, and each time it’s fallen through for various reasons. UFC president Dana White has gone on record saying that if McGregor defeats Cerrone, he will be on standby to replace either Nurmagomedov or Ferguson at UFC 249.
What he’s been obsessed with since his last fight is the rematch with Khabib,” White said. “So Saturday is a big step in that direction. Conor wanted to do this fight at 170 because he wants to turn right around and jump right in and fight Khabib if that fight doesn’t happen. And to be honest with you, Conor believes that Khabib versus Tony is not going to happen.”
What about the Cowboy?The 36-year-old Cerrone has won 23 fights in the UFC, a company record, but that’s because he fights so often. Since his UFC debut in 2011, Cerrone has fought four or more times in six of those nine years — 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019. Cerrone went 2-2 last year, losing his final two against Ferguson via second-round TKO and then Justin Gaethje in September by first-round TKO. A big right hand hurt Cerrone midway through the round, and Gaethje pounced on him for the finish at 4:18.
Cerrone shares UFC records for most fights (33, tied with Jim Miller) and most fights in a 12-month span (six, tied with Sam Alvey). Over the course of Cerrone’s 33 fights for the promotion, he has been awarded 18 bonuses.
Not likely this goes the distance. McGregor, 31, has fought to a decision in just two of his 11 UFC appearances. McGregor has earned 18 of his 21 career victories by knockout. That includes seven of his nine UFC wins. McGregor’s 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo at UFC 194 marked the fastest title-fight stoppage in UFC history.
Cerrone has finished the majority of his opponents in victory (16) and has been finished in six of his losses. Cerrone has also won 17 times by submission and lost once via that route. Cerrone’s seven knockout victories stemming from kicks in UFC competition are the most in company history. No one else has more than four. Cerrone’s 20 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are most in company history.
Expert UFC 246 PickMcGregor by KO/TKO in Round 2.
Rest of the UFC 246 Card
- Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington
- Aleksei Oleinik vs. Maurice Greene
- Cláudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso
- Anthony Pettis vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
- Roxanne Modafferi vs. Maycee Barber
- Andre Fili vs. Sodiq Yusuff
- Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov
- Drew Dober vs. Nasrat Haqparast
- Aleksa Camur vs. Justin Ledet
- Brian Kelleher vs. Ode Osbourne
- Sabina Mazo vs. JJ Aldrich