Conor McGregor vs Cerrone predictions: Pros pick winner of UFC 246 showdown – EXCLUSIVE

Conor McGregor vs Cerrone predictions: Pros pick winner of UFC 246 showdown – EXCLUSIVE

Conor McGregor Cerrone UFC 246

Conor McGregor locks horns with Donald Cerrone early on Sunday morning (Image: GETTY)

The UFC’s first pay-per-view card of 2020 is just a matter of hours away from kicking off, and boy is it a big one. Kick-starting the year for the promotion is huge welterweight match-up between former two-division champion Conor McGregor and fan favourite Donald Cerrone. 

McGregor vs Cerrone serves as the showpiece bout for UFC 246, which will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  The entire mixed martial arts world is abuzz about the return of ‘The Notorious’, who hasn’t set foot inside the Octagon in over 15 months. 

McGregor’s long hiatus – coupled with the fact he’s fighting at welterweight – has led many to doubt his chances of picking up his first win over three years. 

However, there are those who firmly believe the Irishman’s kryptonite and will get back on track with an emphatic stoppage victory. 

So I spoke to several fighters, including some of McGregor’s team-mates, to get their thoughts on the fight will play out – all of which you can see below. 

Express Sport is reporting live from Las Vegas in association with the UK’s No.1 MMA betting sportsbook Ohmbet.co.uk. If you want to read a complete guide about betting on MMA fights, you should click here.

Conor McGregor Cerrone

Conor McGregor’s UFC 246 showdown with Donald Cerrone headlines UFC 246 (Image: GETTY)

Kiefer Crosbie

I reckon he’s going to knock him out in about one minute flat. I’ve never seen him so good. Everyone knows he’s an amazing fighter and everyone knows how dangerous he is. I think this time around, he’s just super laser-focused and I think it will be one of his most impressive fights of all time. That’s what I believe. 

I think you get to a certain point where the weight just doesn’t matter. I used to be 100kg and used to spar people that where heavyweights. I’ve also sparred middleweights and I’ve never been hit harder in my entire life than I have been by Conor.

“So I really don’t think weight classes matter with him. I think once he lands any shot on your chin, I don’t care what weight you are or how big you are or how tough you are, you’re going to know all about it.

He’s an animal and he’s the original champ-champ. Let’s not take that away from him. I think people are quick to forget how great someone can be. And I think he’s one of the greatest of all time. On January 18, he’s going to redeem himself and remark his territory.” 

Peter Queally

First of all, it’s a very bad match-up for Donald. Just stylistically. I think he struggles with southpaws and he struggles with really fast starters, which Conor is. And also I just feel Conor is going to be back with a vengeance, from what I can see. So I do believe it’s going to be a KO. And it’s going to be a KO in the first round. 

He’s looking fine and he’s looking good. He’s done this before. He did this for the Nate Diaz fight. And he looked great in that camp. In the Diaz camp, he looked absolutely amazing when there was no weight cut. Everyone does. Whenever you don’t have to cut weight, it just benefits your training so much more. 100 per cent of your effort goes into training.

“Whereas normally, it could be 80 or 90 per cent of your effort is going into training as some of your energy is getting drained from that weight cut. So he’s been looking fantastic. And as I said, one of the best camps I ever saw him put in was for Diaz when it was at welterweight.  

Conor McGregor Donald

Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone has been over four years in the making (Image: GETTY)

Peter Queally

First of all, it’s a very bad match-up for Donald. Just stylistically. I think he struggles with southpaws and he struggles with really fast starters, which Conor is. And also I just feel Conor is going to be back with a vengeance, from what I can see. So I do believe it’s going to be a KO. And it’s going to be a KO in the first round. 

He’s looking fine and he’s looking good. He’s done this before. He did this for the Nate Diaz fight. And he looked great in that camp. In the Diaz camp, he looked absolutely amazing when there was no weight cut. Everyone does. Whenever you don’t have to cut weight, it just benefits your training so much more. 100 per cent of your effort goes into training.

“Whereas normally, it could be 80 or 90 per cent of your effort is going into training as some of your energy is getting drained from that weight cut. So he’s been looking fantastic. And as I said, one of the best camps I ever saw him put in was for Diaz when it was at welterweight.  

History is the greatest predictor or the future, as they say. And I think this is going to be a great camp and a great fight for him as well. And so far, it looks like it’s a great camp. 

I think the welterweight matchup isn’t going to much of a difference because Donald is actually a lightweight as well. So I don’t think that’s really going to play a part either.

I think they’re going to be a similar size in the ring. I don’t think it’s going to have too much of a bearing on the fight. Except that the two of them will be able to enjoy their Christmas a bit more and eat a bit more and probably put on a good fight because of it.

But to answer your question, he’s looking good. In his last camp he did at welterweight, it was one of the best camps I’ve ever seen him in. So I have high hopes for this one. 

James Gallagher 

Conor knocks him out in about 40 seconds. Easy fight. It’s a bad stylistic match-up for ‘Cowboy’. A slow starter against one of the fastest starters and hardest-hitting fighters in the UFC. 

I’ll not say the roster or the whole division, because the fact of the matter is he’s the hardest-hitting fighter in the whole of the UFC. 

A retirement plan for ‘Cowboy’. This will be his last one. Get the money man, step in against him and take your loss and go enjoy your life. 

Conor McGregor Donald Cerrone UFC 246

The tale of the tape for Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone (Image: GETTY)

Makwan Amirkhani

KO first round That is what we will see.

I think he has learned from mistakes. He is young, also, so it’s normal to do mistakes.

But the most important is that you learn from your mistakes. And I think that he knows the only thing that makes him happy is the sport and the UFC. And that’s what’s good for him.

Danny Roberts

My thoughts on it, I honestly think that Conor can win that fight. But it all depends on the preparation.

I’m not stupid – I also understand and I know as an athlete that if your preparation is not right then you can’t ask too much out of your body.

With Cowboy’s run at the moment – his recent run – he’s going to be a tough customer to come up against. But my money is with McGregor for it, definitely.

Conor McGregor UFC

Conor McGregor hasn’t set foot inside the Octagon in over 15 months (Image: GETTY)

Molly McCann

I like the fight. It’s a smart fight because if Conor beats ‘Cowboy’, he literally gets to say, ‘Yeah, I want whoever next’.

But who doesn’t like ‘Cowboy’ and who doesn’t respect him? But what I will say is I’d probably favour more towards McGregor because when Darren [Till] fought ‘Cowboy’ – I didn’t write Darren off, but I thought, ‘Mmm, no.’ But I saw Darren got into his head and it just done him. And I think Conor has got the ability to do the same thing.

But I heard Tony Ferguson say, if he lands that left head kick or right head kick on your jaw, you’re going night night – which is true. It’s always a tough one, but I’d probably lean towards Conor a little bit more.

UFC 246 Purses

Conor McGregor: £2.3million ($3 million) (no win bonus)

Donald Cerrone: £154,000 ($200,000) to show, £154,000 ($200,000) to win

Holly Holm: £115,000 ($150,000) to show, £38,000 ($50,000) to win

Raquel Pennington: £48,000 ($63,000) to show, £48,000 ($63,000) to win

Alexey Oleynik: £57,000 ($75,000) to show, £57,000 ($75,000) to win

Maurice Greene: £23,000 ($30,000) to show, £23,000 ($30,000) to win

Anthony Pettis: £119,00 ($155,000) to show, £119,000 ($155,000) to win

Diego Ferreira: £38,000 ($50,000) to show, £38,000 ($50,000) to win

Published at Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0000