The first UFC fight card of the year is set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday 18th January, as Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone go head-to-head in the main event. Both men are currently on losing streaks with the Irish-born former two-division champion having lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov by submission in October 2018 and the American ‘Cowboy’ losing his last two fights by TKO.
UFC 246 is sure to live up to its billing, with McGregor returning to the ring for the first time since the Khabib defeat and talk in the lead-up is all about ‘The Notorious’ Dubliner. The odds on Donald Cerrone winning are pretty slim at the time of writing, but he’s one of the most accomplished fighters in the MMA world and the bout is being fought at welterweight level, rather than lightweight, so anything could happen.
As we prepare for what is set to be an exciting night in the 2020 UFC calendar, let’s take a look back at three of their opponents in common.
Cerrone took on the Russian-born featherweight in October 2011 as a stand-in replacement for Sam Stout at UFC 137. Riding a five-fight winning streak, Cerrone returned to the Octagon for a fourth time that year and won ‘Submission of the Night’ as he got his opponent in a rear-naked choke in the opening round.
McGregor faced Siver at Fight Night 59 in January 2015 and was 12 fights unbeaten ahead of their bout at the TD Garden in Boston. McGregor won ‘Performance of the Night’ as he won by TKO in the second round, to set up a Featherweight Championship in his next fight.
Siver won the final fight in his UFC career, beating B.J. Penn by majority decision before turning his attentions to ACB. His MMA record stood at 23 wins from 35 matches.
Cerrone took on Diaz after his win over Siver – with both fighters receiving the honour ‘Fight of the Night’ at UFC 141. Their lightweight clash ended in defeat for Cerrone who lost by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 29–28), despite landing several leg kicks throughout the three rounds.
Diaz returned to the welterweight division when he took on McGregor at UFC 196 in March 2016 at just 13 days’ notice. In what proved to be the ‘Fight of the Night’, Diaz defeated McGregor by submission in the second round, culminating in the Irishman’s third career defeat. The two met again at UFC 202 five months later and this time, the fight went the distance. Again, the bout was deemed ‘Fight of the Night’, but McGregor was the victor by majority decision.
Diaz lost to Jorge Masvidal as recently as November at UFC 244, and has 20 wins from 32 fights.
Cerrone took on fellow American, Alvarez, at UFC 178 in the co-main event. It was Alvarez’ first UFC fight, having been released from his Bellator contract. It wasn’t the worst debut by Alvarez, but he lost by unanimous decision, all three judges scoring the fight 29-28. However, he later went on to win the UFC Lightweight Championship over Rafael dos Anjos in July 2016.
It was a title Alvarez was set to defend when he took on McGregor at UFC 205 that November. It was McGregor’s return to the lightweight division and he won the Championship by TKO in the second round. He was later officially stripped of the title due to inactivity in April 2018 but will look to get his career back on track in his upcoming bout against Cerrone.
Alvarez now fights for ONE Championship and has one win and one defeat since transferring, while his overall MMA record stands at 30 wins from 38 fights.