With less than one week before Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone settle the score in the middle of the cage at UFC 246 live on ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the predictions are starting to roll in.
Since this is McGregor’s first fight after getting submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov back at UFC 229 more than 15 months ago, many heads around the mixed martial arts (MMA) community are reluctant to believe “Notorious” can spark Cerrone like he would have in the past. McGregor’s only real way of defeating “Cowboy” is by knocking him out, but it’s going to be even more difficult for the Irishman to pull it off considering the contest will be held at 170 pounds.
As far as Cerrone is concerned, this is a massive opportunity for him to defeat McGregor and regain any promotional momentum he may have lost in 2019. But considering “Cowboy” is nearly 37 years of age and coming off back-to-back knockout losses many believe he’s the perfect opponent for McGregor to return to and finish early via knockout. Of course, Cerrone could always flip the script and submit McGregor if he decides to bring the planned stand up affair to the ground.
Heading into McGregor’s clash with Cerrone next weekend at UFC 246, MMA personalities Matt Serra and Jim Norton gave their latest predictions for a winner during a recent episode of “UFC Unfiltered,” which can be seen in the above video player.
“Cerrone is a black belt and he’s deadly on the ground,” said Norton. “I don’t care if he says he’s going to stand there and bang for the fans. You’re going to win if you have to win. I’m going to take ‘Cowboy’ by submission.”
“Again, it can be Conor by knockout, but I’m going with ‘Cowboy’ by submission.”
While Norton is relying on McGregor to hurt Cerrone on the feet in order for “Cowboy” to change his gameplan and take him down, Serra believes that “Notorious” will finish the UFC veteran once he has him in trouble.
“His grappling is underrated,” said Serra about McGregor. “He’s good. And even when Khabib did that shot in the beginning he timed a little knee in there. He’s better than you think.
“I think ‘Cowboy’ has more ways to win, but styles make fights. Even though he’s got more money than God and this and that, I feel this means more to Conor in the sense that ‘Cowboy’ is in there to have fun, win or lose. Big paycheck. The guy is already happy as sh-t.
“This is huge for Conor. And usually he’s [Cerrone] a slow starter. Not Conor. Conor is a beast in those early rounds. I tell you right now a lot is going to be dictated in that first round, you know?
“I think he’s [Cerrone] caught up in the ‘let’s give everybody a show type of thing.’ And in that kind of headset I think Conor will probably end up KO’ing him.”
There you have it. Much like most of the MMA community Serra and Norton are on completely different ends of the spectrum when it comes to UFC 246’s main event.
What do you think? Is it McGregor or Cerrone who will have the best chance at winning next weekend?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 246 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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