Boy does it feel good to have our favorite Irish gangster return to the octagon. Connor McGregor hasn’t fought since October 6, 2018, in an unsuccessful run to secure the UFC Lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov. “Mystic Mac” predicts another one of his fights correctly at UFC 246 in Las Vegas, as he dismantles his opponent , Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, with a head kick KO only 40 seconds into the first round.
As soon as the bell sounded, McGregor sprinted at Cerrone and threw a stiff left hand in which he missed and ended up in a clinch. Connor then threw three shoulders at Cowboy, busting up his eye and messing with his vision from the get go. After a small exchange, McGregor cracks Cerrone across the skull with a brutal left kick that had Cerrone wobbling to the canvas. Connor pounced on him, raining punches down from above, and that was all she wrote.
This KO was not only important for Connor moving along, but he once again, is inscribed into the UFC record books. In November 2016, Connor became the first fighter to ever hold a title in more than one division, and at UFC 246, he set the record for the first person to obtain a finish in three different weight classes, featherweight, lightweight, and now welterweight. Connor improves his record to 22-4 in his career, finishing 19 of his 22 wins by KO.
As always, “The Notorious” Connor McGregor steals the show with his impressive performance, but there were some other standout performances tonight that deserve some attention.
The 26 year old featherweight prospect, Sodiq “Super” Yussuf, displayed his skillset in a unanimous decision over UFC veteran, Andre Fili. Yussuf dominated the first two rounds with a good mix-up of strikes and his superior ground work. Fili was way more active in the third round, but it was too little too late as the judges already had Yussf ahead on the scorecards. This win puts Yussuf on a five fight UFC win streak, which will almost guarantee that he will get a top-15 opponent for his next bout.
There was a very unexpected upset tonight in the women’s flyweight division, as 21 year old prospect Maycee Barber drops a unanimous decision to the 37 year old veteran, Roxanne Modafferi. Barber had a hard time dealing with Roxanne’s length and ground game, which was why she couldn’t come out with the victory. People that may have bet on Modafferi were very happy, as she was a huge +600 underdog and still came out with the win. Barber was claiming that she wanted to break Jon Jones’ record to become the youngest champion in UFC history, in which she still has over two years to complete that goal since Jones did it at 23. This loss should only be a small setback for her. Learning from a loss is vital in the quest to achieving ones goals. Look for Barber to bounce back strong once she returns to the octagon.
In the Co-main event, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, put on a clinch work clinic on #5 ranked, Raquel Pennington. Holm showed her experience and willingness to do whatever it takes to win by slowing down Raquel with many small strikes from the clinch. It may have not been the most entertaining fight she’s ever been in, but hey, a win is a win. Holm has put herself in a position to call for a fight to try and earn her belt back from current champion, Amanda Nunes.
UFC 246 was a solid event from top to bottom. A fair mix of upsets, dominating performances, and close bouts. The main event didn’t disappoint as Connor made quick work of Cowboy Cerrone. There is still an important question that remains in the air, what’s next for Connor? He’s competed in three different weight divisions, winning gold in two. There are endless fights to make for Connor that are good for the sake of entertainment and also make sense from the standpoint of UFC rankings.
If he wants to stay at welterweight, his next fight will most likely be against a top fighter like Colby Covington, or BMF champ, Jorge Masvidal. If he decides to compete at lightweight again, he would be likely matched up with #3 ranked Justin Gaethje. Connor won’t get an immediate title shot at either weight, so it is going to be interesting to see what fight gets made for him next. Either way, UFC fans around the world are in for a treat.
As the first UFC event of the year comes to an end, the UFC will resume next Saturday, January 25th, as heavyweight contenders Junior Dos Santos and Curtis Blaydes square off in the main event of UFC Fight Night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. This year started off with a bang, expect more of the same as the UFC has great fights book already in the first quarter of 2020.
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