Interesting Stats To Know Before Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone
Conor McGregor is finally making his much-anticipated return in UFC's first Pay-Per-View event of 2020 on January 18 at the UFC 246 against Donald Cerrone. McGregor's last appearance was for the lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, back in October 2018, where he lost in the fourth round, tapping out to a neck-crank.
When the 'Notorious' Mcgregor returns to the octagon, it will mark an end to his year-long absence. On the other hand, Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone is coming off from two losses against former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, and #3 lightweight contender Justin Gaethje in the lightweight division. Both the superstars will be squaring off against each other at the welterweight division and it has all the making of a spectacular fight.
At the welterweight division
Cerrone is a UFC veteran who has a rich amount of experience in the welterweight division. Built with a chin that can take the hardest of jabs, crosses and even kicks, Cowboy's last fight in the welterweight division was against Mike Perry. The Colorado-born kickboxer submitted Mike Perry with a clinical arm-bar that won him the UFC's Performance of the Night. Cerrone also has an impressive record at 10-6-4 at the welterweight, while Conor has only fought twice in the division.
Conor's welterweight debut came against Nate Diaz at UFC 196, where he suffered a shocking defeat via a rear-naked choke in the second round of the fight. Conor made amends in his second fight against Diaz and collected a majority decision victory to tie his welterweight record at 2-1-1. It will be Conor's third fight in the division and it would be interesting to see how the Irishman squares up against a UFC veteran of the welterweight division.
Going into the fight
It will be 1,232 days without a victory for Conor when he faces Cerrone on January 18. Conor's last win came against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. He knocked out Alvarez in the second round of the fight to capture the UFC lightweight championship and in doing so, he became the first UFC fighter to hold title belts from two different divisions simultaneously. However, a mauling by the hands of Khabib at UFC 229 showcased Mcgregor in a different light.
Cerrone, on the other hand, has been very active but not very consistent inside the octagon. He fought an impressive four times this year and wrapped his 2019 with a record of 4 wins. Cerrone boasts an impressive record of 36 wins in 50 fights inside the octagon. It will be his 51st professional fight, while Conor will be competing in his 26th professional fight and has an impressive career record at 21 wins in 25 fights.
First two rounds
Conor McGregor is every fighter's nightmare in the first two rounds of the fight. McGregor has finished 19 of his opponents inside the second round, with a submission victory coming early in his career. Only two of his fights, against Max Holloway in 2013, and Nate Diaz at UFC 202, have gone to the decision.
Both Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson were able to finish Cerrone inside round 2. The stat looks vital considering Conor's attacking start and his left hand. Cerrone is not far behind though, in his 33 fights under UFC, he has knocked out 14 of his opponents inside round 2 and has a dangerous submission game. Out of the 36 wins in his MMA career, Cerrone has been able to finish 27 of his opponents with 17 wins coming from submission. This stat looks crucial since all of McGregor's four losses in his career are via submission.
Striking vs Grappling
Both Conor Mcgregor and Donald Cerrone are phenomenal strikers. Donald is astute in his boxing style, while Conor is both an accurate and heavy puncher known for his lethal left hand. Cowboy is more of a kickboxer who has knocked out three opponents by a head kick. He has used a combination of head kicks and punches to knockout seven of his opponents. McGregor, on the other hand, allows his hands to do the talking.
Both the superstars like to keep the fight standing, and the audience can expect a match that won't likely go down on the ground. According to UFC statistics, McGregor has a 49% striking accuracy compared to Cerrone's 47%. McGregor is also well ahead with 5.27 significant strikes per minute as compared to Cowboy's 4.35.
While Cerrone doesn't take the fight to the ground, he possesses the capability to pull off brilliant submission moves; and that might be something to look out for, for Mcgregor.
Cerrone and McGregor have had two common opponents in the form of Nate Diaz and Eddie Alvarez. Cerrone lost to Diaz at UFC 141, while McGregor lost to Diaz, in what was his first UFC loss at UFC 196. McGregor picked up the victory in a rematch against Nate at UFC 202 and followed it up with a win over Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title. Alvarez faced Cerrone at UFC 178 and lost via unanimous decision.
The experience factor
Cerrone's experience and McGregor's absence from the octagon for more than a year can play a crucial role in the fight. With 50 professional fights to his name, Cerrone deserves a shot at the former champion due to his consistency that has still kept him on top of the game despite being over 35. Cerrone has been one of the most active fighter in the last decade and over time Cowboy has seemingly evolved in the octagon.
With the already sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas set as the meeting venue, expect firecrackers inside the octagon when two of the best MMA fighters collide at the welterweight division at UFC 246.
Published 27 Dec 2019, 11:04 IST