Fight fans haven’t seen Conor McGregor compete in over 15 months and they really don’t know what to expect later this evening (Sat., Jan. 18, 2020) at UFC 246 when “Notorious” make his return against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
McGregor, who last tasted victory in a 2016 knockout win over Eddie Alvarez, will be moving back up to 170 pounds for his main event tilt with Cerrone. It’s a bold move to say the least considering “Cowboy” will have the size advantage come fight time, but McGregor feels comfortable and dangerous enough at welterweight to get the job done nonetheless.
While much has been made about McGregor’s striking and the fact that the only way he can defeat Cerrone is to knock him out, the former UFC champion is ready to attack wherever the fight may go. McGregor’s teammate, Dillon Danis, stated earlier this week that the Irishman’s ground game is world-class so “Notorious” should be bringing some extra confidence with him into this fight with Cerrone.
“Before the Eddie Alvarez fight Donald said ‘just take him down, submit him, and be done with it, that’s that,’” McGregor told UFC’s Megan Olivi (shown above). “So now he’s kind of changing his tone, you know. My grappling is phenomenal. My mixed martial arts grappling is phenomenal. I’m prepared for it. Whatever happens, happens.
“I don’t think I’d be happy with a submission. I would like a submission. I only have one submission on my record, but you can’t beat the knockout. There’s nothing that beats a good old fashioned knockout.”
“I’m ready for war if he wants war,” continued McGregor. “If he can sustain it, good for him.”
McGregor, 31, had a multitude of legal issues he needed to overcome to get to this point, but he is here nonetheless. The last 15 months have been hectic to deal with, even for a brash fighter like “Notorious,” but McGregor is ready to turn the page this weekend in Las Vegas, showcase his evolved skill set, and cash in on a long-awaited comeback tour.
“I’m certainly fighting a lot different,” explained McGregor. “A lot more centered and structured. I am moving differently. You’ll see on Saturday.”
UFC 246 airs live on ESPN+ PPV from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will feature notable UFC veterans such as Anthony Pettis, Holly Holm, and Raquel Pennington.
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 7 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+.