As the first UFC card of 2020, and one of the most anticipated UFC cards in over a year, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor returned to the octagon. With Conor having a 15 month hiatus from the ring, there have been a lot of people wondering if he would be returning with “ring rust” and be unable to perform at the level we were once used to witnessing… especially after the Khabib fight in which Conor did not look his best, and lost the fight to a submission in the fourth round. Even famous gamblers like Dan Bilzerian were putting large sums of money on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone to beat McGregor. On the flip side, there were people like UFC President Dana White and famous motivational speaker Tony Robbins (who was in Conor’s Corner) saying they’ve never seen Conor so focused.
UFC 246 Main Card was to begin with the Women Strawweight division between Claudia Gadelha and Alexa Grasso, but unfortunately Grasso came in 5lbs over weight and the fight was cancelled.
We then watched the lightweight division square off between Anthony Petits and Carlos Diego Ferreira. Petits, once a belt holder, had promise, but he couldn’t contend with Ferreira’s unrelenting takedowns and ground control which lead to a win for Carlos in the 2nd round by submission.
Moving up to Bantamweight, we watched seasoned veteran Brian Kelleher take on newcomer Ode Osbourne. This fight looked to be an even bout at the start, with both fighters being strong on their feet as well as the ground, but the experience of Kelleher dominated the fight immediately and had Osbourne submitting near the 3 minute mark of the first round.
And now the big boys. The Heavyweight fight showcased experienced Aleksei Oleinik facing off against up-and-comer Maurice Green. As the bout began, it was hard to see who would come out on top. Green was looking good, leading the fight with a kick to Oleinik’s soloplex and putting him down to the mat. Oleinik also looked strong answering back, and taking Green down to the mat where the two went back and forth trying to submit one another. As we watched these two heavyweight giants collide through the first round, it was really difficult to predict who would win. Oleinik seem gassed from trying to submit Green with 1 minute left in the first; coming back to the second round, Aleksei was still huffing and puffing and Green looked ready. In the end, Aleksei got the upperhand and submitted Green in the second round with 20 seconds left before the bell.
The Woman Bantamweight co-main event was a complete and utter let down. When you hear Holly Holm is fighting, you think back to the outright war between her and Amanda Nunes, where both girls left the octagon beaten and bloody. This was the opposite.
Holly faced off against Raquel Pennington, and for three rounds the two girls spent the majority of the fight tied up on the cage. There was little to no action; the fight was an absolute snooze fest. The official should’ve taken charge and broke them up due to no advancement of position from either fighter, but instead, the official danced around the ring with them. Do yourself a favor – if you haven’t seen the fight, just skip it.
AND NOW… what you’ve all been waiting for The Main event!!!
The Welterweight Main event starring The “Notorious” Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Both very experienced fighters have deep admiration and respect for one another.
As the bell rang for the main event, Conor came blazing out and unleashed a massive left bomb at Cowboy, the force from which nearly took Conor off his own two feet. Cowboy seized the moment and initiated the clinch, which Conor accepted and in doing so set free four massive shoulder strikes to Cerrone’s face, reportedly breaking his nose, and maybe his left orbital bone. As the clinch broke from the vollying shoulder stikes, the distance was perfect for the Notorious to liberate a left high kick to Cowboy’s head, disorentating Cowboy and ultimately leading to a stoppage of the fight in only 40 seconds. The King is back, winning his first fight in 15 months by TKO.
“Ring rust” you say? I think not…
The King IS back and he wants his belts. That’s right… BELTS.