UFC 246 is blowzy with fighters out to prove they still accord in the spotlight.
Exhibit A is Conor McGregor. The Notorious is already afresh a UFC amateur afterwards over a year abroad from the Octagon on the heels of his fourth-round acquiescence accident to Khabib Nurmagomedov for the failing title. McGregor makes his acknowledgment adjoin Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a welterweight fight.
Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington affection in the co-main event. The above women’s bantamweight best Holm has continued been a domiciliary name in MMA circles, but at 38 years old, it’s fair to catechism if her canicule as a appellation adversary are gone.
The capital agenda will get started with yet addition action featuring a above UFC champion, with Anthony Pettis authoritative his acknowledgment to the failing analysis he already reigned over.
The aftereffect of so abounding fighters aggravating to argue they’re still on top of their amateur should be a fun night for fans. Here’s a attending at the complete card, forth with the latest allowance and a last-minute attending at the three better fights on the card.
Main Agenda (ESPN PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
Prelims (ESPN at 8 p.m. ET)
Prelims (Fight Pass (6:15 p.m. ET)
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
This action is a business accommodation for the UFC.
One of the best bankable fighters and better banknote beasts for the alignment took a assault in his aftermost fight. While he had his moments, Nurmagomedov mostly had his way with McGregor in a acrimonious animosity match.
Ultimately, McGregor’s talk, arresting and action IQ couldn’t change the actuality that Nurmagomedov is a bales train. He was aching by the Eagle his aftermost time out, and it’s activity to booty some angel and cast rebuilding for the Notorious to be up for addition megafight.
The 36-year-old has been a promoter’s dream throughout his career. He’s consistently up for a action and has remained active, cutting up 50 bouts in 14 years. He’s taken on some of the better names in the failing and welterweight divisions, so it would accomplish faculty he’d get the befalling to accomplish the massive amounts of money complex in a McGregor fight.
He doesn’t accept abundant of a shot, though. He’s commonly struggled with ability punchers, southpaws and advancing aggregate strikers. McGregor is a able arresting southpaw who is able to advance the pace.
In short, if McGregor is still the aristocratic striker he already was, this will be accessible absence for him. He gets a high-profile win to set himself up with addition megafight bottomward the line, while Cerrone gets a abundant payday to already afresh appearance up and put on a fun fight.
Prediction: McGregor via second-round TKO
Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington
When Holly Holm aboriginal fought Raquel Pennington in 2015, she was a bit of an bewilderment authoritative her UFC admission afterwards a few MMA fights and still battle professionally.
Holm was an arresting anticipation because of her background, but it was cryptic if she’d be able to construe that success into acceptable a UFC appellation contender.
Now, angry her a additional time, Holm is at a capital of a altered kind. She has climbed the mountain—the win over Ronda Rousey will consistently be the highlight of her career—but she has said she still has her eye on addition appellation run.
If the 38-year-old is absolutely activity to be aback in contention, it’s now or never. She’s advancing off a accident to Amanda Nunes in her aftermost appellation bid at 135 pounds. She is 2-5 in her aftermost seven fights, but best of those accept been for a appellation or a No. 1 adversary spot.
This is Holm’s befalling to booty a footfall bottomward in competition, but Pennington could accomplish a account for herself. She has had a block back it comes to angry the best opponents she has seen, but she has only absent two fights back her 2015 defeat to Holm: Germaine de Randamie and Amanda Nunes.
The champ of this action will acquisition themselves still in the blubbery of things in the bantamweight division. The loser—more importantly—is activity to attempt to break relevant.
Prediction: Holm via decision
Anthony Pettis vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Much like Holm, Pettis’ career has been awful unpredictable, and not in a acceptable way. Afterwards capturing the failing appellation over Benson Henderson in 2013, it seemed he was accessible to become a ascendant champion. His face was alike on a Wheaties box to prove it.
There accept been flashes of that fighter. Acquiescence wins over Michael Chiesa and Charles Oliveira, a hasty win over Stephen Thompson at welterweight. But for the best part, it’s been a black run for Showtime.
That’s why he’s an underdog adjoin Ferreira. The Brazilian is on a breach appropriate now with a five-fight win streak, and he looked absurd adjoin Mairbek Taisumov in September.
Pettis has struggled in the accomplished with fighters who can about-face up the calefaction on him and are accommodating to attack through the average arena to abutting the distance.
However, he acutely begin a new way to be acknowledged in his win over Thompson. And while he threw abroad that bold plan adjoin Nate Diaz, he’s attractive to embrace it again.
“You attending at the ‘Wonderboy’ fight. I got my adenoids broke, but I backward so accurate to my bold plan,” Pettis told Nolan King and Mike Bohn of MMAjunkie on Thursday. “You saw my advanced pressure, easily high, low kick, low kick, low kick. In the Diaz fight, I’m switching stances, throwing haymakers. It was a brainy loss.”
This could be Pettis’ aftermost adventitious to accomplish himself a adversary again. He’s an underdog, but he consistently has a puncher’s chance.
Prediction: Pettis via second-round TKO
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