Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again last night (Sat., Jan. 18, 2020), as UFC 246 went down from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the headlining act, Conor McGregor got back in the win column after annihilating Donald Cerrone just 40 seconds into the fight (see it again here). In the co-main event, Holly Holm scored her second win over Raquel Pennington, this time defeating her via unanimous decision (recap).
Biggest Winner: Conor McGregor
This one is a no-brainer, as “Notorious” made a triumphant return to action after a 15-month hiatus to score a first-round technical knockout win over “Cowboy.” The victory is huge for so many reasons. To start, McGregor just breathed a huge sigh of relief and got some immense pressure off his shoulders, scoring his first win in mixed martial arts (MMA) in more than three years. Furthermore, his victory assures the promotion and fight fans that McGregor will indeed be returning to action sooner, rather than later, and all of his plans set forth are now closer to becoming a reality. A loss would’ve likely meant another McGregor hiatus, leaving him in limbo with no big fights for which to campaign. But with the win in his back pocket, McGregor can now pick and choose who he wants next. UFC President Dana White was quick to explain how big a Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch would be during the post-fight press conference (replay here), pretty much meaning it’s the fight to make should “The Eagle” defeat Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. If not, McGregor is still a shoe-in for the Lightweight title fight against “El Cucuy” if he wants it. Or, he can go for Jorge Masvidal’s “BMF” title. The options are limitless for “Notorious” at this point, who secured his ticket to be on standby for the aforementioned UFC 249 event on April 18.
Runner Up: Carlos Diego Ferreira
Chalk up another win for the Brazilian Lightweight, who scored a huge victory after submitting former 155-pound champion, Anthony Pettis, in the second round. After taking Pettis’ back early in the fight, Ferreira almost sunk in a rear-naked choke before “Showtime” used great defense to roll out of it. In the second round, though, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace once again took the fight to the ground and put the ex-champ in a precarious position, ultimately forcing the tap via neck crank. That is now six straight wins for Ferreira, which ensures him a huge bump in the rankings as he hasn’t lost since 2015. With a big win over an ex-champion on his resume, Ferreira can start lobbying for bigger fights moving forward. It was truly a dominant performance from the 35-year-old.
Biggest Loser: Donald Cerrone
Unfortunately, “Cowboy” has to take this spot after getting smoked by “Notorious” in just 40 seconds. First of all, for everyone talking dive, just stop. McGregor landed flush with that head kick, and those subsequent follow up blows were hitting their marks. Despite the relentless attack, referee Herb Dean gave “Cowboy” plenty of chances to fight back and get out of danger. Ultimately, he had to put an end to the onslaught to protect Cerrone from taking unnecessary damage. That is now three straight defeats for “Cowboy,” who will have to go back home and regroup battered, bruised and deflated. On the bright side, he recently locked up a new UFC contract prior to the McGregor fight, so he has that locked in the bag. Still, with three losses in a row — all via technical knockout — Cerrone won’t have the privilege of scoring another big fight in the immediate future. But if anyone can bounce back and score some wins in a hurry, it’s “Cowboy.”
For complete UFC 246 results, including play-by-play updates from last night, click here. To check out the latest and greatest UFC 246: “McGregor vs. Cerrone” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.