The Incredible Comeback of Conor McGregor
January 18, T-Mobile Arena hosted UFC 246, where the audience paid close attention to returning to the octagon the “scandalously famous” (the notorious) Conor McGregor. The former double champion representing Ireland and the UFC highest grossing fighter, in his debut fight, after almost a year and a half break. He converged with an incredibly experienced US veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-13-0).
When Conor McGregor Had His Most Famous Fights?
UFC Conor McGregor vs Alvarez. On November 12, 2016, at the first UFC event in New York, McGregor fought with lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. In the second round of the UFC 205 Main Event, McGregor knocked out his opponent and became the first champion in the history of promotion at the same time in two categories – at that time Conor also owned a featherweight belt.
Сonor McGregor’s last UFC fight was on October 6, 2018, at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The main event of the tournament was the battle of Khabib Nurmagomedov against Conor McGregor, in which Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor.
The fighters are very similar in anthropometry, the only indicator where the advantage is visible is the height, Cerrone is 10 cm higher. In the UFC lightweight ranking, they occupy 4 (Conor) and 5 (Donald) lines. But it is noteworthy that the battle took place, not in the lightweight but in the welterweight.
UFC President Dana White answered a question from journalists that this was Conor’s initiative, McGregor didn’t want to exhaust himself as a fighter, and in fact, it was a battle between two lightweights who decided not to lose weight. Judging by the latest photos of Conor on Instagram, he approached this fight with great responsibility, because now he looks like a monster in excellent physical shape. We have never seen McGregor like that before.
Conor’s head coach, John Cavana, said in a recent interview that his ward was plowing in the gym like never before and he saw that Conor’s love of sports had returned. He completely tied up with whiskey and recently has been doing 3 workouts a day. The Irishman was mostly focused on the battle. Could Conor lose in this fight? The answer is no!
With a painful trick, Cerrone beat Mike Perry, defeated Grunt, followed by a spectacular knockout with head-kick Alexander Hernandez and the declassification of Alexander Jay Iaquinta. In the last two fights, he was defeated by Tony Ferguson (stopping by a doctor) and was knocked out by Justin Gagey. “Cowboy” is a basic kickboxer, works in series, hits well with two arms and legs, but in addition to hitting him, he has a black belt on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, although he often uses it and has stated recently that he plans to fight with Conor exclusively in the stance.
For Conor, this was very good news. McGregor is a fighter with very strong boxing, his sense of timing and distance is better not to face. In style, he is a clear counter-puncher and loves to catch opponents ahead of schedule, discharging his murderous left. He throws his punches just like that, he targets the chin and temporal region, which gives a great chance to knock out the opponent.
Over the past couple of fights, he greatly tightened his defense against takedowns, although he had no problems with this before, before the fight with Khabib, this aspect was paid a lot of attention.
Conor has not yet lost a knockout in his career, while Donald Cerrone has been knocked out more than once, and according to statistics, Conor has an advantage in terms of holding.
Conor’s only disadvantage is his cardio. After the second round, he usually begins to take a breath, his speed and impact force become weaker. But you still need to resist his pressure in the first two rounds, because in the initial rounds his left hand is a deadly weapon.
Former champions José Aldo and Eddie Alvarez will confirm this. The last time he fought at UFC 229 on October 7, 2018, for the lightweight champion title against Khabib Nurmagomedov, where he lost in strangulation in round 4.
Maybe Cerrone is a real test for anyone. He has a record for the number of victories in the UFC (23), also in his account the largest number of finishes in the history of promotion (16). In the last 5 fights, he won 3 and lost 2 times but McGregor had different plans.
The fight did not last even one round. What did Conor McGregor do?
Conor surprised UFC 246 from the start, abandoning Billionaire’s Gait and greeting Cerrone. But the battle did not begin so affably — an instant clinch and several blows with his shoulder, which caused Donald to break his nose.
When the fighters went the distance, McGregor severely punched with his left hook and knocked Cowboy down, then he clamped him to the net and began to finish. Judge Herb Dean gave Cerrone time to recover but was soon forced to stop the fight — only 40 seconds passed from the start of the fight.
Donald often fails in starting a fight, while Conor is the most dangerous in the first round. The decisive factor was the exit from the clinch, after which Cerrone did not have time to rebuild and missed a kick in the head: further finishing was inevitable.
“I returned! The king is back! Glad to make history again. I am the first fighter in the promotion who scored impressive victories in featherweight, light, and welterweight. Ready to return to lightweight, but I’m comfortable and welterweight. Now I’m celebrating a victory with my family, and then we’ll see what to do next” — Conor said.
Immediately after the battle, McGregor approached the Cowboy. Cerrone was laconic: “I love this sport. And I will continue to fight.” After the fight, Cowboy was taken to the hospital: he did not even come to the press conference.
Also, UFC President Dana White said that after the victory over Cerrone, Conor would receive a fight for the title. And this further fuels interest in the fight, because in case of victory there is a big chance that Irish fans, which he has a lot, will be able to see a rematch between Conor and Khabib. According to information from Republic Worlds Conor McGregor will receive 5 million, while Cerrone will take 2 million. This is a record fee for the Cowboy, which he certainly deserved for his long career and incredible contribution to the development of sports and promotion.
The fighter ensures that it is not Conor McGregor’s last fight. So, we wish him future victories!