We’re only a couple of weeks out from Conor McGregor’s return against Donald Cerrone. He’ll fight in the main event of UFC 246 in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas. Millions around the world are openly questioning the Irishman’s physical and mental condition. After all, the fight is taking place at welterweight.
McGregor has fought twice at 170lbs in the past. Both times were against Nate Diaz and both times he had problems with his cardio, although he was able to rebound at the second time of asking. How he’ll cope against another bigger man in Cerrone will be fascinating.
Of course, ‘The Notorious’s’ team are vaunting his praises. His head coach John Kavanagh has said that McGregor is the best version of himself right now. Now he’s obviously going to say that anyway but the fact that he’s been virtually absent from the media shows that he is taking this seriously.
Jan 1st, last heavy spar today before going to Vegas. Can honestly say this is the best i've seen him and i wasn't sure that was possible to do 6 months ago. You guys are in for a real treat, i'm just glad to have a good seat! #UFC246
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) January 1, 2020
McGregor’s physical conditioning and mentality have been criticized in the past. With hundreds of millions in the bank, what does he have left to motivate himself for? However, Coach Kavanagh insists that his star student looks better than ever. Considering the pair’s relationship allegedly cooled earlier in the year, this is a strong statement from the SBG Ireland head honcho.
“Jan 1st, last heavy spar today before going to Vegas,” Kavanagh wrote on Twitter. “Can honestly say this is the best I’ve seen him and I wasn’t sure that was possible to do six months ago. You guys are in for a real treat, I’m just glad to have a good seat!”
Let’s hope that he’s right. This could be a massive year for McGregor as potential fights with Jorge Masvidal and Khabib Nurmagamedov await. However, ‘Cowboy’ will definitely have something to say about that.
Some have slated the actual match-up. Many people believe that McGregor should be fighting Justin Gaethje and definitely shouldn’t get a title fight if he beats ‘Cowboy.’ Typically, UFC President Dana White has issued a strong and profanity-riddled statement about the clash. He told Yahoo Sports:
“There’s absolutely zero disappointment about the announcement of Cerrone First of all, I’m not even going to go into names or anything else, I have one of the largest casinos in the world asking for crazy s**t for that fight. Every celebrity on earth is already asking for tickets. This thing is going to sell out. Nobody is disappointed about Cerrone.
“Nobody is disappointed about Cerrone, I promise you that. I guarantee you it will be the biggest bar business – etc, etc. It’s a crock of s**t to say anybody is disappointed about Conor versus Cerrone. Crock of s**t. Crock of s**t.”
This is going to be a very interesting fight. McGregor is the betting favorite going into this one. He also starts a lot faster than Cerrone does, who gets more dangerous as the rounds progress. ‘Cowboy’ has suffered a number of knockouts lately too.
However, Cerrone has a definite reach and height advantage. His striking game will also be very different from anything McGregor has faced in the UFC. If the fight goes into the third or fourth rounds, then things could turn very bad for the Irishman.
But only time will tell whether or not McGregor can get this done. This is a massive risk that he’s taking because another loss will effectively stunt his fighting career. After a year of legal woes, he needs to put the gloss back on his image.