Today marks the return of the “Notorious” Conor McGregor as he makes the trek back to the welterweight division in a bout against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Is this bout the culmination of an arduous career for “Cowboy” as he finally gets to get a career high payday against the most notable name on the UFC roster or is it a return to glory for Conor following a 14 month lay-off as he looks to make 2020 his most lucrative year yet?
Conor McGregor (-320) vs Donald Cerrone (+260)
2020 is starting off with a bang and the excitement level in T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada should be through the roof for two of the most popular guys in the UFC as they go head to head at 170. When this bout initially got announced, I scoffed at it. This is due to Donald’s previous two bouts against Tony Ferguson, the current number 1 contender, and Justin Gaethje, the current number 3 contender. Donald was very competitive in the opening round against Tony but in the second, he started to get hit way too frequently and the fight got stopped in between the second and third round as Cowboy’s eye swelled up to the point where he was unable to continue to fight. While he suffered a defeat, Donald did look very competitive against the guy many figure to have the best chance in potentially beating Khabib so he still maintained top 5 status in the division. His next bout, not so much. Cowboy headlined a card against Justin Gaethje in what some were hoping would be “fight of the year” level stuff. Unfortunately, Donald went down and out off a right hook 4 minutes and 18 seconds in the opening round and it had to be thought that maybe it’s time to take some time off and regroup. That does not happen as he gets offered the bout against Conor and if you know anything about Donald Cerrone, it’s that he does not refuse fights and the bout was made.
Now we get to the “Notorious” one. For the last 5 years, Conor McGregor has been a household name main-eventing 7 consecutive cards and having a record of 5-2 in this bouts. The issue that many have with the man is not his actions inside the octagon, but rather, his actions outside of it. In the Octagon, Conor is one of the most electrifying combatants in the UFC with the ability to end a fight at a moment’s notice. When he isn’t fighting, he is promoting his very successful whiskey company Proper 12 and has been seen hitting an elderly man inside a bar for refusing his whiskey. Are his actions reprehensible? Most certainly, but when you have the name that Conor McGregor currently has, let’s just say a lot more things can get whisked under the table which leads to this bout.
My prediction when the fight originally got announced and currently hours prior to the bout still remains the same and is as evident by the betting odds, the most obvious outcome which is Conor McGregor by KO in the 2nd round. Had Donald Cerrone taking time off following his loss against Tony Ferguson and this would have been his next fight, I think I would still predict the same thing but slightly more trepidatious in the prediction. Unfortunately, the bout vs Justin Gaethje did occur and Cowboy just looked several steps behind which really makes me worried in this bout for him. Conor McGregor is laser-focused with that straight left and it is just going to take 1 solid connection on the chin of Donald for him to end the fight especially if he engages in a stand-up war. Now if Cerrone manages to take Conor down, his chances of winning skyrocket but I think Conor’s takedown defense is good enough to keep the bout standing and eventually catch him in the middle of the octagon with a clean left hand and the fight gets stopped minutes in to the second round.
Enjoy the fights tonight and remember to bet responsibly and if you do choose to wager on the event, go to mybookie.ag and enter promo code PUBSPORTS for a nice bonus.