vs Donald Cerrone
Conor „The Notorious“ McGregor lastly fought the undisputed UFC Lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October 2018. He lost via submission after a typical Khabib dominance on the ground. Since then The Notorious was more active outside the Octagon with robbery incident and Dublin pub assault. Conor also announced his retirement in March 2019, but he quickly came back off retirement. Since then he was targeting a rematch with Khabib.
Donald „Cowboy“ Cerrone’s last fight was in September 2019 against top UFC Lightweight Justin Gaethje, who KO’ed Cowboy in the first round. This was Cowboy’s second loss in a row against top UFC Lightweights. Cowboy is more active in the Octagon than Conor, having fought 4 times in the year of 2019. This will be his 51st professional MMA fight and this shows that Cowboy still has plenty to offer after so many fights.
Conor is a pure striker. His elusive fighting style makes it difficult for his opponents to predict his next move. His biggest weapon is his left hand, that can put anyone to sleep, just like against Dustin Poirier, José Aldo, Chad Mendes or Eddie Alvarez. Conor is very dangerous in his first 2 rounds. In these rounds he usually is the more active fighter, putting a lot of power in his strikes. Conor uses variety of kicks such as lead and rear front kicks, spinning back kicks, handplant kicks to the head and more. Conor is most of the times the fighter who takes the center of the Octagon and pressure opponents against the cage, Eddie Alvarez’s fight is a perfect example of Conor being the pressurrer and dictating the pace of the fight. Conor is however very weak on the ground. Khabib exposed Conor tremendously when Khabib was holding Conor on the ground, mauling him and not letting him stand up. Conor was battered in the Khabib fight after the 2nd round, when there was a series of punches, that could have stopped the fight. Conor vs Diaz 1 also showed, that Conor is not a big fan of jiu jitsu either. When Diaz gained the top mount, Conor turned on his belly and offered Nate his back. Nate had no problems sunking in the rear naked choke. Another concern is the stamina of Conor. It looks like Conor gasses out after 2 rounds. Even when he was boxing Floyd Mayweather, Conor was pretty much done after round 4 or 5.
Cowboy is more of a complete fighter than Conor. Still fans most of the time see him fighting standing up. His kickboxing is one of the best there was in the UFC history and he has some memorable KO finishes like against Matt Brown, Rick Story, Alexander Hernandez and more. Even though he is most memorable by his KOs, he has more submission win than KOs. Cerrone always delivers an incredible fight and fans gets their tickets and PPVs worth it. As Cowboy is getting older, it is starting to show, that he is fading out a little bit as he is starting to fall behind the elite of UFC Lightweights and Welterweights. Cerrone is an active fighter as he does not shy away from going toe to toe. As it was mentioned, Cowboy is getting older and chin might not be holding up that well as it was back few years ago. Still he has less flaws than Conor as Cerrone is comfortable anywhere the fight goes.
It is not probable that this would go to the judges‘ decision. Conor like to start fast, and if he connects with his left hand, it can be over pretty soon. Cerrone is more of a slow starter and he starts to get going in later rounds. Conor is gassing out very quickly and after 3 round it is the biggest chance for Cerrone to start pushing forward and throw strikes at Conor. The finish by submission is not very likely as these two fighters will keep the fight standing. If anyone would have a better chance of winning by submission, it would be Cerrone as he is comfortable going to the ground and grapple. This fight should end by KO.