Conor McGregor is back in the Octagon in mid-January taking on Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in one of 2020’s most anticipated UFC match-ups.
Tickets for the event sold out in just one day with the gate for UFC 246 having exceeded the $10 million mark. Some sources suggested that it took just three minutes for the first batch of seats to be snapped up and the bout is also likely to command a sizeable TV audience around the world.
McGregor is one of the stars of the sport and has shown his ability to overcome trouble and fight his way out of a corner in recent years. Those are key attributes which are amongst BettingTop10’s UFC betting tips and could prove incredibly useful when it comes to analysing these types of match-ups.
The five-round welterweight fight takes place on January 18th 2020 and will be staged at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. There will be 13 fights in total with the prelims getting underway at 1am UK time.
UFC fans have been waiting for these two fighters to cross paths and they cannot wait to see these two competitors sparring in the Octagon for the first time. It has been one of the most talked about events in recent months.
McGregor’s manager has told the media that he’s ‘seen a level of fire reignited’ and to get ready for the ‘old Conor McGregor’. His fans are rightly excited to see him back in the Octagon and he will be looking to replicate his recent performances which saw him ease past both Eddie Alvarez and Jose Aldo. He’s previously been accused of chasing the money following his determination to face Floyd Mayweather back in 2017, however he appears to be re-focused and re-energised ahead of this clash.
He may have struggled over the last couple of years, and he will be determined to get back to his explosive best in January. If he can get a clean strike on his opponent, this fight could be over in a matter of seconds. Very few fighters can command the same level of power as McGregor and as the odds-on favourite, he will be expected to see off his latest challenger.
Conor McGregor is a Southpaw – a left-handed boxer who tends to lead with their right hand – and Cowboy has a terrible record against these types of fighters. He has already lost to Leon Edwards, Darren Till and Tom Lawlor and they all have a similar approach.
He relies on his fist to win these types of fights and if the bout descends into a battle of stamina and tactics, then he may begin to struggle in Nevada. Khabib took this approach and beat the Irishman in fourth round 14 months ago.
TD average (per 15 mins) – 0.75
TD accuracy – 62%
Overall Record – 21-4-0
Last Fight – Loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov – October 6th 2018 (Round 4)
Whilst McGregor is all about raw power, Cowboy is far more tactical and a hugely versatile kicker. Whilst he isn’t able to rely on his fists, he is highly skilled and will be looking to out-think his opponent at the T-Mobile Arena.
He is also extremely handy when it comes to grappling and if he can avoid an early blow, he stands every chance of causing problems for the Dublin-born fighter. He’s finished 11 fights by submission during his long and distinguished career and will have the advantage if these two competitors hit the deck at any point.
In 2018, he became the all-time leader in wins and finishes after taking down Mike Perry in UFC 139 in his hometown of Colorado. This was the perfect response to his disappointing defeat to the aforementioned Leon Edwards just months earlier.
As one of the best all-rounders in the game, Cerrone will be hoping to use his nous and experience to dampen the enthusiasm surrounding McGregor’s return. Although he has a disappointing record against Southpaws, he has fought every single type of fighter during his career and won’t be fazed by McGregor’s sheer power.
He is susceptible to body blows and may not survive repetitive strikes. At 36, he isn’t as sharp as he used to be and he will need to move quickly to avoid becoming another victim of the quick-starting Conor McGregor.
TD Average (per 15 mins) – 1.21
TD accuracy – 36%
Overall Record – 36-13-0
Last Fight – Loss to Justin Gaethje – September 14th 2019 (Round 1)
McGregor appears to be determined to bounce back from his recent disappointment and the reports emerging from his camp have been largely positive. He should be able to use his power to outgun Cowboy, although he may have to be patient in his approach this time around.
Featured image by Antonio Fucit