Conor vs Cowboy Live: The biggest star in mixed martial arts, Conor McGregor, returns to action Saturday night, and the stakes in his UFC 246 main event bout with McGregor vs Cowboy are bigger than they might appear at first glance. On the surface, the welterweight bout at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena between Ireland’s McGregor (21-4), the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion
Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone are more than just fighters. They’ve both become a brand.
McGregor is a true wild card. A carnival barker, businessman and thrill ride in the cage. He talks a big game, gets everyone to tune in and usually delivers a memorable performance, win or lose. Most of the time, it involves a memorable striking battle.
That was not the case in his loss to Nurmagomedov in 2018, and he’s doing what he can to ensure this fight stays on the feet. He implored Cerrone not to shoot in the most McGregor way possible on his Instagram.
Of course, it’s Cowboy’s brand to respond in kind. The veteran has painted himself as the perpetual thrill-seeker and that extends throughout his life in and out of the cage. A Doc Holliday, his constant retort seems to be “I’ll be your Huckleberry” and this fight is no different.
“You know, I probably should,” Cerrone said about potentially taking the Irishman down, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN. “But I don’t think I will. I like to fight, too. I like to get in there and throw down. Everyone says his stand-up is amazing, so why not go and test it? Everyone says, ‘You wanna just stand there and get knocked out?’ But it’s my decision. It’s my stupidity.”
Cerrone is right. McGregor’s ground game is a flaw that has been exposed by a variety of opponents to varying degrees of success. Chad Mendes did it in the first round of their fight at featherweight. Nurmagomedov definitely did it at lightweight.
Holm and Pennington serve as the co-main event as they run back their 2015 fight that saw Holm narrowly defeat Rocky by split decision.
The loss was the spark for Pennington to go from 5-5 fighter to a serious contender in the division. She ripped off four victories in a row including a decision win over Miesha Tate that has been the highlight of her career thus far.
Holm has transformed as a fighter since then as well. The Pennington clash served as her UFC debut, and the former boxing champion was still splitting her time between training for the two different styles of fighting.
“I honestly feel like I’ve really improved a lot from the first fight,” Holm said, per Farrah Hannoun and Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie. “When I was first, even having my first fight in the UFC, I was very new still to MMA, and you know I’d been doing boxing and MMA back and forth.
McGregor, for his part, has not competed since his infamous loss to current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018, which is best remembered for a post-fight brawl between their respective camps. Further, McGregor has not won a fight since November 2016, when, as featherweight champ, he defeated lightweight titleholder Eddie Alvarez to become the company’s first-ever simultaneous double champion.
McGregor, 31, still has star power, as the attention on this fight has demonstrated. But he’s turned off a portion of the fan base with a string of out-of-competition incidents and legal issues in recent years. McGregor must win eventually in order to maintain his spot.
It has been a long time since fans and media have had to make a prediction for a Conor McGregor fight. After more than a year out of action, the former featherweight and lightweight champion is set to return to the Octagon when he faces Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246. Despite a potential lightweight title shot for McGregor hinging on the result, the fight will be contested at welterweight.
In the co-main event, former champ Holly Holm will face Raquel Pennington at women’s bantamweight. Another former champ will open the card when Anthony Pettis returns to the division he used to rule when he takes on Carlos Diego Ferreira at lightweight. The CBS Sports experts have provided predictions for all five main card bouts as the UFC gets ready to kick off 2020 with the biggest star in the sport’s return to the Octagon.
Caesars Sportsbook has released props for Saturday’s UFC 246 fight between Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. ESPN Stats & Information has provided context surrounding the props.
Conor McGregor makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone as the main draw to UFC 246 in Las Vegas.
The Notorious hasn’t been seen in the cage since his October 2018 encounter with Khabib Nurmagomedov. A fourth-round submission loss was the culmination of one of his most hyped fights to date. Now, he’s back to prove he’s still the organization’s biggest attraction against a man who’s always game for a big fight.
Cerrone enters the bout as the perfect foil to bring McGregor back into the spotlight. He’s made a career out of being an action fighter. He’s been on the losing end in his last two bouts, but there isn’t really such thing as a boring fight involving the 36-year-old. This is the biggest fight of his career and a great chance at a payday for an aging veteran who has always shown up for the UFC.
The card also features an important women’s bantamweight bout between Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington. It’s the former’s first fight since losing her championship bid to Amanda Nunes in July.