Why Donald Cerrone is the Ideal Opponent for Conor McGregor at UFC 246

On January 18, 2020, Conor McGregor will be fighting in the UFC again. His opponent is Donald Cerrone. It will be McGregor’s first fight in more than a year. Like McGregor, Cerrone is a legend in his own right, and here’s why he’s the perfect opponent for McGregor as he makes his return to the UFC octagon.

McGregor vs. Cerrone — details of the fight

McGregor’s fight against Cerrone will be the main event of the night at UFC 246. The event is still a few weeks away, so the details are sparse on who else will be fighting on the card. That said, there are a few certainties about this fight. 

First, it’ll happen at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which is where most big UFC events happen.

Secondly, this fight will definitely happen in the welterweight division. Both men hate cutting weight and have made the 170-pound weight limit easily in the past. There should be no chance of either man coming in overweight for the fight. 

Lastly, the pay-per-view can be purchased through the ESPN+ app, thanks to the streaming deal that the UFC signed with ESPN. 

Both Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone are notorious for never being injured and always showing up on time and ready to fight, but it’s not a guarantee that both will make it to the event. 

Both men are on a losing streak

One reason among many why this fight is a good fight because both men are coming off losses. McGregor tapped out in his last fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, and that was more than a year ago. Donald Cerrone, likewise, is on a two-fight losing streak. He lost to Tony Ferguson in the summer and then to Justin Gaethje a few months later, both by knockout. 

Because both men are on losing streaks, neither one has too big of an advantage over one another. When someone who’s undefeated fights against someone who’s on a losing streak, then it’s pretty obvious to everyone who’s going to win. In this fight, because both men are coming off  losses, the tables are even. 

But even then, Conor McGregor has wanted to fight Cerrone for a long time. Early in 2019, right after Cerrone knocked out Alexander Hernandez, McGregor said on Twitter that he’d fight Cerrone. However, that fight hasn’t materialized until now.

Why Donald Cerrone is the perfect opponent 

Donald Cerrone is the perfect opponent for Conor McGregor in what could be one of his last UFC fights.
Donald Cerrone is a great matchup for Conor McGregor, and the UFC veteran could earn a healthy paycheck. | Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

There are four main reasons this fight was the best fight for McGregor, and for Cerrone, too. 

First, Conor McGregor just needed to fight someone to heal his reputation, and Cerrone is certainly a good choice. Cerrone is popular with UFC fans, so he’s not a nobody, and that’s good enough. Donald Cerrone is in the second half of his 30s and quickly aging out of the UFC. Fighting McGregor ensures at least one more high-profile fight for Cerrone before he hangs up his gloves.

Second, McGregor wanted a fight at welterweight. A fight in that weight class is simply McGregor firing a warning shot at Jorge Masvidal, who’s been trash-talking McGregor for months.

Also, although Cerrone has wrestling and submission skills, he’s primarily a striker. That is the exact type of fighter that McGregor likes to fight against. Khabib Nurmagomedov, a renowned wrestler, easily dominated McGregor on the ground. But against someone who wants to strike with him, McGregor can dominate them and knock them out. There is a good chance that this fight will go to the ground, but McGregor will more than likely spend a lot of time standing and striking with Cerrone.

Donald Cerrone is the perfect opponent for Conor McGregor in what could be one of his last UFC fights.
Conor McGregor will finally return to UFC to face Donald Cerrone. | Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Finally, and frankly, this is a winnable fight for Conor McGregor. Some of his fans may not want to admit it, but a fight against Cerrone is one of the easier bouts that McGregor could’ve gotten. Cerrone isn’t an unbeatable monster, but he’s not a pushover either. It’ll be a competitive fight, but Cerrone, out of everyone else that McGregor could have fought, has the best chance of being knocked out by McGregor. For Cerrone, who has six losses in his last 10 bouts, he gets the chance to fight a big-name opponent who is in a similar situation as him.

A win for McGregor puts him into the spotlight once again. From there, McGregor can call the shots again. He can fight Jorge Masvidal, he can fight Nate Diaz again, or he can get a rematch with Nurmagomedov. That’s ultimately why Cerrone is the perfect person to fight McGregor.