When Conor McGregor announced his return on January 18, 2020 back in October at his press conference in Moscow, few people actually believed it was real. Most thougth that it was just another bold proclamation that would end up to nothing. But we were wrong! Conor McGregor returns vs Cowboy Cerrone at UFC 246!
Donald Cerrone was one of the two contenders in line for the McGregor fight along with Justin Gaethje. The latter was vocal about the matchup and even claimed McGregor was ducking him. That talk led people to believe that Cerrone was the frontrunner for the fight and it turned out to be true.
After weeks of speculation, Brett Okamoto reported today that Dana White told him that the matchup was very close to being finalized. It will headline the UFC 246 card on January 18 at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The matchup will be contested at Welterweight.
That is probably to most interesting thing about this booking. McGregor has been vocal about wanting a rematch with Khabib, the Lightweight champion, but he has also said that he wanted to fight the BMF Jorge Masvidal. Being booked at 170 against Cowboy, it seems clear that McGregor is angling for the Masvidal fight if he beats Cerrone.
He even mentionned at his Moscow press conference that the “2020 season” would consist of three fights: Cowboy (or Gaethje at the time), the winner of Masvidal vs Diaz and finally the winner of Khabib vs Tony.
As for Donald Cerrone, he has been up and down since 2017 with a UFC record of 4-6. He lost 3 in a row at 170 before defeating Mike Perry and moving back down to 155. He then defeated Alexander Hernandez and Al Iaquinta but he has since lost two and a row to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
Some may be concerned that the fight will not be that competitive as Cerrone is an aging fighter. However, McGregor has been quite inactive as of late and he is 2-2 in his last 4 with a much debated split decision win over Nate Diaz. Also, there is no fighter in the UFC that deserves more the “McGregor payday” than Donald Cowboy Cerrone.