We’re less than two weeks out from McGregor v Cowboy. The pair will fight in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s the first fight card of 2020 but it’s already massive. What a way for the world’s biggest MMA promotion to kick off their New Year.
McGregor has only fought once in MMA since 2016. He lost that fight last year to Khabib Nurmagamedov. How will his lack of activity affect him against the most active fighter in the UFC? How will the fight being at 170lbs interfere with his performance? Will Cowboy just kick his head off?
These are some of the questions that will be answered on January 18th. However, Chael Sonnen thinks that McGregor could be making a massive mistake. Of course, only time will tell.
Speaking to ESPN, Sonnen thinks that McGregor is underestimating Cerrone. He is confused about why the fight is happening at welterweight and believes that the Irishman could be punished for his decision.
“They missed that this is happening at welterweight, 170 pounds,” Sonnen said. “I think that is so significant, and you know who else agrees with me? Is the line in Vegas. As soon as it came out at 170 pounds, that dropped from Conor McGregor at almost a 5-to-1 favorite to him a 2.5-to-1 favorite. At 170 pounds, Conor McGregor is batting 50 percent. He has only been there twice, he won one fight, he lost one fight both against Nate Diaz.”
“The point being Conor McGregor, who is striking heavy, who is not known for ground and pound, who is not known for submissions. On paper at least, has one way to win this fight which is to knock Donald Cerrone out,” he continued. “Conor doesn’t even do that well in fights that go to a decision. So, now to knock a guy out who by the way has an extra 15 pounds is significant. It is the biggest talking point of this fight.”
Sonnen thinks that ‘Cowboy’ has more ways to win the fight than McGregor. If he shoots on the Irishman then it will cause problems. The big question is if The Notorious is prepared for welterweight and five rounds.
“Conor is very awkward with his strikes, Donald Cerrone plays the same game. But, by the way, he’ll take you down and he’ll submit you,” Sonnen said. “Donald Cerrone has more ways to win this fight, I have to throw that out there. Even though the line has gotten significantly closer with the announcement of this being at welterweight, I still don’t think people are appreciating it.
“If Donald Cerrone can survive the first two and a half minutes, at least historically, his odds significantly rise should he can get one single takedown. The chances of him winning this fight significantly go up,” he concluded. “So yes when you are asking me if Conor made a miscalculation, I wouldn’t call it a mistake, but he now has two things against him. 170 and five rounds after a layoff.”
Jorge Masvidal is watching this fight with interest. He is linked to a match-up with McGregor if he can get past Cerrone. But ‘Gamebred’ appreciates McGregor’s striking game and thinks he can win this fight quickly. Like Sonnen, he says that the deeper the fight goes, the more it favors ‘Cowboy.’
“It can go many ways,” Masvidal told ESPN. “Conor is great off the block. He’s phenomenal off the start. Cowboy is a slow starter. Conor has tremendous speed and timing in the beginning, good power, so I think he can catch him early.
“If Cowboy comes out to grapple like he has in the past with decent strikers and even good grapplers like Rick Story, who he was able to take down and create a lot of offense like that … if that Cowboy comes out, he can mix things up real nice. And then he can start to flow and get into his game of high kicks and punching and being tricky, like a dual threat to Conor.”