Conor McGregor will be returning from his year-long hiatus to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 on January 18, 2020. The fight makes perfect sense for both men, as McGregor needs to get a win, and Cerrone wants a big payday. However, even though everybody expects McGregor to win, Georges St-Pierre says that Cerrone can pull off an upset.
What Georges St-Pierre has to say about McGregor-Cerrone
As Daily Mail reports, St-Pierre says what Donald Cerrone absolutely shouldn’t do is to stand and strike with McGregor. He believes that if Cerrone tries to turn the fight into a boxing or karate match, then McGregor will knock him out. That’s because St-Pierre sees McGregor as “a sniper,” and if McGregor gets his crosshairs on Cerrone, then McGregor is putting him to sleep.
St-Pierre says that Cerrone shouldn’t try to trade punches with McGregor. What Cerrone absolutely should try to do is wrestle McGregor down to the ground. In fact, St-Pierre bases that on the training sessions that he’s had with Donald Cerrone in the past. St-Pierre, who’s an outstanding wrestler himself, says that Cerrone has “a good takedown.”
Additionally, St-Pierre says that Cerrone has “a very good ground game.” That means that if Cerrone can take down McGregor down, then he can choke him out, too.
What will Donald Cerrone do against Conor McGregor?
As George St-Pierre mentioned, Donald Cerrone has a lot of skills he can use to beat McGregor. In his past fights, Cerrone chose at times to take his opponent down to the ground. He did that against Patrick Cote, and he did it against Alex Oliveira. However, that isn’t how Cerrone likes to fight.
Cerrone is a decorated kickboxer, and he loves to stand and strike. In Cerrone’s most recent win against Al Iaquinta, Cerrone kept the fight standing, and he almost knocked Iaquinta out. And, when Jorge Masvidal was beating Cerrone up in early 2017, Cerrone kept the fight standing instead of trying to go to the ground, as St-Pierre recommends.
Plus, Donald Cerrone will definitely be the larger man in the fight. Cerrone is 6-foot-1, which is four inches taller than McGregor. The bout will also be at 170 pounds. Cerrone has been fighting at 170 for years now, so he’s built up the muscle to be able to fight those men. Conor McGregor, on the other hand, has mostly fought at 145 or 155 pounds. McGregor will probably be lighter and weaker than Cerrone. That could mean a Cerrone knockout against McGregor.
Will St-Pierre’s advice work?
George St-Pierre is a UFC legend for a reason, and he’s not wrong. Wrestling McGregor instead of striking with him is precisely how Khabib Nurmagomedov beat him in their fight. Nurmagomedov did what St-Pierre recommends for Cerrone — he went for the takedown early, and he never gave up.
Nurmagomedov kept McGregor on the mat for the majority of their fight. And through his ground game, he got a chokehold on McGregor in the fourth round. As St-Pierre said, “If it’s a quick fight, it’s going to be McGregor. If it’s a long fight, it’s going to be Cerrone.”
Cerrone’s best chance against McGregor will have to combine everything that St-Pierre advised: Prolong the fight, be smart about fighting on his feet, and take the match to the mat if possible.Donald Cerrone will have to wrestle Conor McGregor to have a shot to win, and he’ll have to keep it up for a long time. Cerrone has good cardio, while McGregor’s cardio hasn’t been great. If Cerrone can survive McGregor’s powerful punches and wrestle him to the ground, then Cerrone can come out on top. But this is the UFC, and anything can happen. Cerrone can kick McGregor in the face and end the fight, just like he’s done against many other men before.