How Will Conor McGregor Fare in His Return?
If you missed the latest UFC news, former lightweight champion Conor McGregor is making his return to the Octagon in mid-January.
After a not-so-brief spell on the sidelines during which he announced his retirement, McGregor surprised no one when he later announced his return to the UFC. Fans have been waiting to see The Mac in action since the Nurmagomedov bashing and are hopeful that their favorite eventually reclaims his titles.
Conor McGregor’s next opponent certainly won’t make things easy for the Irishman. Donald Cerrone is a seasoned veteran with some notable victories on his tally and a powerful combination of punches. The Cowboy holds the record for most wins and finishes in UFC history with 22 and 16 respectively, so he’s no pushover. If The Mac wants to get back to winning ways, he’ll need to jump over this massive obstacle.
Bookies are very clear on the upcoming fight – McGregor’s UFC odds of -300 make him a favorite while Cerrone has been given underdog odds at +240. The ex-champ-champ hasn’t been in action since his loss against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in late 2018, but that doesn’t diminish his chances according to bookies. The Irishman is an accomplished fighter with a stellar resume and a public persona that surely gave his odds a boost. However, like we’ve seen many times before, the Octagon doesn’t trust odds – it takes a lot more than that to win.
As mentioned, Donald Cerrone is no easy target. The American fighter has been with the UFC since 2006, never having won a belt. His record is not as stellar as The Mac’s, but he holds notable victories over fighters such as Al Iaquinta and Eddie Alvarez. He’s lost 13 times, though, and that, along with the fact that he’s never been a champ, makes McGregor a favorite on paper.
Coming off two back-to-back losses doesn’t go in Cerrone’s favor as well. The Cowboy is without a win since May 4, 2019, when he defeated Al Iaquinta with a unanimous decision. He later lost to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, so even though he has been in action unlike McGregor, his current losing streak doesn’t instill a lot of belief that he can get back to winning ways. Especially when you take into account the fact that he’s facing a new and improved McGregor.
The Irish fighter is taking the fight seriously. His latest online posts show that he’s improved his physique and added muscle so he’s obviously been training very hard recently. McGregor’s in fighting shape and if he has fixed his conditioning problem, Cerrone is going to have a big problem in the Octagon. The Mac’s only flaw is his conditioning if we don’t take into account his character. He was gassed out near the Nurmagomedov fight, but his jacked figure right now suggests otherwise.
The fight should be closer than the odds indicate. McGregor is a very smart fighter with outstanding strikes. If he gets close to Cerrone, his punches can prove a problem for the American. As for the Cowboy, his striking and submission skills can cause a problem for The Mac if he runs out of gas late in the fight. Both fighters have big egos as well, and that could very well prove a decisive factor in the fight.
If you ask us, McGregor is our pick. He’s quicker and a holds a tactical advantage, which could ultimately be too much to handle for Cerrone. For punters, though, The Cowboy will have the edge as his odds clearly provide the better value.