Conor McGregor is coming back. The Irishman will fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. The pair will headline the card in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas on February 18th. It brings to end a series of intense negotiations. Fans will be delighted that the intensely loyal company man Cerrone will get his night to cash in.
‘The Notorious’ hasn’t fought since losing to Khabib Nurmagamedov in October last year. That defeat came by way of fourth-round submission. It was a tough fight and the proceeding months have done a lot of damage to his image. The best way to get on track is to remind fans what you’re good at.
It’s very rare that non-title fights headline a major UFC event, but when McGregor is fighting the rules change. The Irishman made it clear that he’s not going to play second-fiddle to anybody else, title or no title. Who do you think will win?
One of the most interesting dynamics of this fight is that it will take place in the welterweight division. McGregor has fought twice at 170lbs, against Nate Diaz. Lightweight is seen as his more natural weight. Meanwhile, Cerrone went on an exciting run in that division before getting stopped by Darren Till. However, the former is the no. 3 ranked lightweight, while Cerrone is ranked at 5 at 155. So it is a strange one.
Dana White confirmed that the fight is set to go ahead. He’ll be delighted to get his prize asset back in business. Although the UFC relies less on McGregor’s pull power in the ESPN era, it will still be a financial boost to get him back in action. The UFC boss announced that:
“Conor has signed and ‘Cowboy’ is ready to go.”
McGregor has sat on the sidelines for the past year. Multiple court cases and a broken hand have prevented him from coming back any earlier. He remains linked to two sexual assault cases. However, there’s no doubt that the public imagination will be stirred by the return of the volatile Irishman.
Only time will tell how hungry he is. Perhaps he’ll perform better without the pressure of fighting for a title. The big question is what version of Cerrone will turn up for this clash. There’s a reason that he’s not taking on Justin Gaethje after all.
Who Will Win?
Why did McGregor pick Cerrone as his next opponent? There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that he has name value, which means something when you want to promote a fight. ‘Cowboy’ is one of the most recognisable names on the roster and he’s got more records than any other fighter out there.
The second is that he’s beatable. At least in McGregor’s eyes anyway. They see him as an ageing veteran who will crumble under the Irishman’s sniper-like pressure. However, it may not be that simple as McGregor has gassed out in both his welterweight fights due to the extra weight. Bigger opponents – namely Diaz – have affected him in the past. However, ‘Cowboy’ doesn’t have the same chin as Nate Diaz so this might not be a problem.