UFC 246 Live: McGregor faces ex-UFC title challenger Donald Cerrone in the main event. The UFC kicks off its slate of 2020 fight cards on Saturday with UFC 246. The ESPN+ streaming pay-per-view card features the return of former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor.
McGregor, who has not fought since losing a battle with current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018. The ex-featherweight and lightweight titleholder scraps with Cerrone in a welterweight contest. Cerrone is coming off two TKO losses in the lightweight division.
UFC 246 Live
UFC 246 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN+ streaming pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2 and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.
In the co-main event, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm faces ex-title challenger Raquel Pennington in a rematch. The first time these two met, Holm won the contest via split decision. Holm is 2-5 in her past seven fights. She opened her career on a 10-0 run. Holm’s current record is 12-5.
Pennington had a four-fight winning streak come to an end in 2018 when she was stopped via TKO by Amanda Nunes in a women’s bantamweight title fight in May of that year. She lost her next bout as well, but Pennington is coming off a split decision win over Irene Aldana in July.
The focus of the prelim card falls upon the women’s flyweight matchup between ex-title title challenger Roxanne Modafferi and rising star Maycee Barber. Barber, who is 21, hopes to become the youngest champion in UFC history. Before she can achieve that goal, she needs to get by Modafferi, who has challenged for titles in multiple organizations.
UFC 246 Pay-Per-View Card (ESPN+, 10 P.M. ET)
Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Maurice Greene
Cláudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso
Anthony Pettis vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
UFC 246 Preliminary card (ESPN2, 8 PM ET)
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Maycee Barber
Andre Fili vs. Sodiq Yusuff
Drew Dober vs. Nasrat Haqparast
UFC 246 Early Prelim card (ESPN+, Fight Pass, 6:15 P.M. ET)
Chas Skelly vs. Grant Dawson
Aleksa Camur vs. Justin Ledet
Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov
Brian Kelleher vs. Ode Osbourne
Sabina Mazo vs. JJ Aldrich
The UFC knows that McGregor is one of its most prized assets. When he’s at the top of his game, he’s the undisputed biggest draw it has. However, the loss to Nurmagomedov followed by the long layoff could have an impact on that.
What McGregor needs to stay relevant is a win, and the UFC has set him up to do so. Cerrone is a well-respected veteran, but not one that has had his hand raised recently. The 36-year-old has dropped two fights in a row since a career renaissance with a three-fight win streak.
When McGregor is at the top of his game, there are few who can match his cerebral fight IQ in the stand-up. He has a knack for reading opponents and throwing the right strike with precision. It’s the kind of thing that helped him floor Jose Aldo in 13 seconds and gave him some of his biggest wins.
Prediction: McGregor via second-round TKO
Holm Outpoints Pennington in Chess Match
Holly Holm’s career has been a roller coaster, to say the least.
Her upset win over Ronda Rousey is one of the highest of highs a fighter can have. An undefeated fighter with a professional boxing background, she was on top of the MMA world.