A welterweight clash between former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor and veteran striker Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has been announced as the headliner of UFC 246 on January 18th.
The Dubliner revealed at a press event in October that he would return to the Octagon at the beginning of the year, ahead of a meeting with either Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz, and then a lightweight title fight against the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson in March. Both McGregor and ‘Cowboy’ have been linked to throw down numerous times over the last couple of years, namely a short-notice UFC 196 showing for Cerrone, but the matchup of two of the sport’s most recognizable figures is finally sealed.
McGregor, will make his first Octagon appearance since October 2018, where he unsuccessfully attempted to pry the lightweight championship from arch-rival Khabib Nurmagomedov. Colorado native Cerrone, made a bright start to his lightweight re-run at the beginning of 2018, stopping Alexander Hernandez before dominating Al Iaquinta. Running into a returning Tony Ferguson in an explosive clash, a second-round doctor’s stoppage forced an end to the bout, while in August, Justin Gaethje continued his meteoric rise with a first-round knockout of the BMF Ranch owner.
31-year-old McGregor, is without an Octagon victory since UFC 205 in November 2016, where he became the first multiple-weight champion held simultaneously in the UFC, via a second-round finish of Eddie Alvarez. Talented finisher and Muay Thai practitioner Donald Cerrone is yet to claim UFC gold but holds one of the most respected win columns in mixed-martial arts today. With the most wins and finishes in promotional antiquity, ‘Cowboy’ has bested the likes of Benson Henderson, Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza, Jamie Varner, Mike Perry, Matt Brown, Rick Story, Charles Oliveira, and Jeremy Stephens to name a few.
UFC 246 takes place on January 18th. from the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A flyweight meeting between former division title hopeful Roxanne Modafferi and rising prospect Maycee Barber has been sealed for the event, while Nasrat Haqparast and Drew Dober will meet at 155-pounds. Grant Dawson also returns in January as he clashes with Chas Skelly at featherweight. Former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis returns to 155-pounds, as he meets surging Brazilian grappler Carlos Diego Ferreira. In featherweight action, Andre ‘Touchy’ Fili takes on Nigerian powerhouse, ‘Super’ Sodiq Yusuff. Submission specilaist Aleksei Oleinik takes on Maurice Greene.