Preview and Predictions for UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner
The UFC is back home in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend with its first event of the new year, UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy LIVE this Saturday from the T-Mobile Arena. The action begins at 6:30PM/ET with the Early Prelims on UFC Fight Pass, followed by the Prelims at 8:00PM/ET on ESPN, and the UFC 246 Main Card on Pay Per View at 10:00PM/ET.
UFC 246 Main Card Predictions
#11 Anthony Pettis (+215) vs. Diego Feirrera (-255)
Former Lightweight champ Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (22-9-0) returns back to the always competitive 155 pound division to face Diego Feirrera (16-2-0), one of the hottest Lightweights on the current UFC roster. Riding a five fight win streak Ferreira is ready to face that next step up in competition and earn his position among the division’s elite . Ferreira is 7-2 with four finishes since joining the UFC in 2014. While we may have all thought that his days at 155 were over following his Welterweight bouts with Stephen Thompson and Nate Diaz, but after taking a year off to focus on his health and diet, Showtime is back at Lightweight as an underdog to take on the unranked Ferreira.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Ferreira via Third Round Submission
D’Bo’s Pick: Pettis via Second Round TKO
Brian Kelleher (+115) vs. Ode Osbourne (-145)
Promoted to the UFC 246 Main Card following the cancellation of Alexa Grasso vs. Claudia Gadelha, Brian “Boom” Kelleher (19-10-0) meets “The Oddity” Ode Osbourne (6-2-0,1NC) in a Bantamweight contest. Fighting out of Selden, New York, Brian Kelleher won three of his first four fights inside the Octagon before suffering consecutive defeats to John Lineker at UFC 224 and Montel Jackson at UFC 229 respectively. Win or lose, “Boom” always brings it, with five of his six UFC fights ending inside the distance. Ode Osbourne earned his UFC contract by submitting Armando Villarreal in the First Round last summer competing on Season Three of the Contender Series. The win over Villarreal was Osbourne’s fourth consecutive stoppage win, setting up what should be an exciting promotional debut against a game opponent in Brian Kelleher. Odds wise this bout is a toss up, but I am pretty confident that this one won’t be going to the judges and I am leaning towards the more experienced Kelleher to find his way to finish.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Kelleher via Second Round Submission
D’Bo’s Picks: Kelleher via Decision
#12 Alexey Oleynik (+110) vs. Maurice Greene (-130)
Ultimate Fighter Season 28 alum Maurice “The Crochet Boss” Greene (8-3-0) will be looking to bounce back with a statement win as he takes on “The Boa Constrictor” Alexey Oleynik (57-13-1) in a Heavyweight contest. After starting his UFC Heavyweight career with wins over Michel Batista, Jeff Hughes, and Junior Albini, Mo Greene suffered his first setback in the promotion losing to Sergei Pavlovich at UFC Singapore last October by Second Round TKO. Greene will try to start a new win streak against savvy submission specialist Alexey Oleynik who is coming off of back to back First Round stoppage losses in 2019 to Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem. Oleynik had previously won four of his last five and is 6-4, with six wins by Submission since joining the the promotion in 2014.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Greene via Second Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: Oleynik via First Round Submission
#3 Holly Holm (-140) vs. #5 Raquel Pennington (+120)
“The Preacher’s Daughter” Holly Holm (12-5-0) and Raquel “Rocky” Pennington (10-7-0) meet in a Bantamweight rematch as both fighters will be tryingto get back to their winning ways. When the pair first met at UFC 184 in February 2015, Holly Holm made her promotional debut being touted as the most decorated striker in Women’s MMA to be signed to be signed by the UFC. Holly Holm would win in her UFC debut against Rocky Pennington, albeit in a closely contested Split Decision, and nine months later would shock the world by defeating Ronda Rousey via Second Round TKO (Headkick) at UFC 193 to become the Women’s UFC Bantamweight Champion. Following her win over Rousey, Holm lost her belt to Miesha Tate at UFC 196 in her first title defense and then go on to lose four of her next six fights competing against the very best in the world. Holly Holm’s UFC record currently stands at 5-5 after five years with the promotion. Following her loss to Holm, Rocky Pennington went on to win her next four bouts to earn a title shot against the GOAT, Amanda Nunes at UFC 224 in May 2018. Pennington was unfortunately battling a slew of injuries that prevented her from being at 100% heading into her title match with Nunes, but has continued to display the heart and grit that has won her over many fans throughout her career. Most recently, Rocky earned a Split Decision win over Irene Aldana at UFC San Antonio last July. Holly Holm lost to Amanda Nunes via First Round TKO in her last bout at UFC 239 in July, and has lost five of her last seven fights dating back to March 2016. The emphasis and importance of coming out with a win will be paramount for both fighters, and I expect the rematch to be just as close a contest as their first meeting back in 2015.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Pennington via Second Round Submission
D’Bo’s Pick: Holm via Decision
MAIN EVENT— Welterweight
#4LW Conor McGregor (-310) vs. #5LW Donald Cerrone (+255)
“The Notorious One” Conor McGregor (21-4-0) makes his much anticipated return to the Octagon to face UFC legend Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-13-0,1NC) in a Welterweight matchup. While critics have questioned the validity of Cerrone as Conor McGregor’s opponent as McGregor makes his Octagon return after a fifteen month layoff following his Fourth Round Submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018. With a 2017 boxing exhibition against Floyd Mayweather temporarily sidetracked his MMA career, three years have quickly come and gone since Conor McGregor has won an MMA fight. On the other hand, few fighters compete on short notice and as often as Cowboy Cerrone, the UFC all time leader in fights, wins (23) and finishes (16). Cerrone is tied with Jim Miller with 33 Octagon appearances and will claim the sole lead with his 34th UFC appearance against McGregor on Saturday. Cerrone has boomeranged back and forth between fighting at Lightweight and Welterweight over the past few years, and is 2-2 in his past four fights which have taken place at 155 pounds. Despite setting all of these records, Cowboy is 4-6 over his last ten bouts, and is coming off a back to back stoppage losses to Lightweight elites Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson. So with that being said, there is a lot on the line for both Cerrone and McGregor as they meet in a crossroads of sorts in the UFC 246 Main Event. I expect these two UFC legends to put on a show for all of the casual and hardcore fans that will be tuning in this weekend.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: McGregor via First Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: McGregor via Fourth Round TKO
Next week, the UFC heads to the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina for UFC on ESPN+ 24: Blaydes vs. Dos Santos. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights!!