UFC 246 predictions – Conor McGregor vs. Cowboy Cerrone: Fight card, odds, expert picks, date – CBS Sports,

UFC 246 predictions – Conor McGregor vs. Cowboy Cerrone: Fight card, odds, expert picks, date – CBS Sports,

It has been a long time since fans and media have had to make a prediction for a Conor McGregor fight. After more than a year out of action, the former featherweight and lightweight champion is set to return to the Octagon when he faces Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246. Despite a potential lightweight title shot for McGregor hinging on the result, the fight will be contested at welterweight.

In the co-main event, former champ Holly Holm will face Raquel Pennington at women’s bantamweight. Another former champ will open the card when Anthony Pettis returns to the division he used to rule when he takes on Carlos Diego Ferreira at lightweight. The CBS Sports experts have provided predictions for all five main card bouts as the UFC gets ready to kick off 2020 with the biggest star in the sport’s return to the Octagon.

Get ready for Saturday’s showdown in Las Vegas by listening to the State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon, including an in-depth preview of McGregor vs. Cerrone with Hall of Famer ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans.

Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride. Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the card with the latest odds from MGM.

UFC 246 main card

  • Conor McGregor -320 vs. Donald Cerrone 260 — Welterweights
  • Holly Holm -130 vs. Raquel Pennington 110 — Women’s bantamweights
  • Maurice Greene -125 vs. Aleksei Oleinik 105 — Heavyweights
  • Ode Osbourne -137 vs. Brian Kelleher 110 — Bantamweights
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira -240 vs. Anthony Pettis 200 — Lightweights


  • Maycee Barber -800 vs. Roxanne Modafferi 550 — Women’s flyweights
  • Sodiq Yusuff -140 vs. Andre Fili 120 — Featherweights
  • Nasrat Haqparast -280 vs. Drew Dober 240 — Lightweights 
  • Aleksa Camur -125 vs. Justin Ledet 105 — Light heavyweights

Early Prelims

  • Askar Askarov -150 vs. Tim Elliot  130 — Flyweights
  • Sabina Mazo -110 vs. JJ Aldrich -110 — Women’s flyweights

With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card with latest odds from MGM. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Wise (editor).

McGregor vs. Cerrone picks

Brian Campbell

McGregor TKO2

Brent Brookhouse

McGregor TKO1

Matthew Coca

McGregor TKO2

Jack Crosby

McGregor TKO3

Michael Mormile

Cerrone SUB3

Brandon Wise

McGregor TKO3

UFC 246 picks

Holm vs. Pennington



Pennington Pennington Pennington Holm

Oleinik vs. Greene


Oleinik Oleinik Greene Oleinik


Osbourne vs. Kelleher



Osbourne Osbourne Osbourne


Pettis vs. Ferreira



Pettis Pettis Pettis


Campbell on why McGregor will win: While the question regarding which version of McGregor shows up remains the most important one entering Saturday, especially considering his inactivity, this remains a fight the “Notorious” one can and should win. Cerrone is certainly no slouch, but he’s 36 and fresh off a pair of knockout defeats. He also has failed nearly every time he has stepped up to the elite level. Does McGregor need to finish the fight early to have the best chance? Of course. But the combination of his punching accuracy and Cerrone’s flash chin is simply too difficult to overlook. McGregor may never be able to regain the magic he lost by being submitted against Nurmagomedov, but a win against Cerrone is a prerequisite for his return to prominence. 

Brookhouse on why McGregor will win:There’s a sad truth to this fight: Cerrone has already admitted that he will not fight a smart fight. McGregor’s biggest deficiencies are on the ground and through his cardio — which can also be exploited by forcing him to engage in grappling exchanges. Cerrone has said that he has no intention to take the fight to the ground, though. His plan is to “test himself” against McGregor’s striking. Cerrone is no slouch in the striking arena, but barring a concussive knockout shot, a striking war between the two goes the way of McGregor. And if Cerrone is throwing all strategy out the window, he’s going to go down in a firefight and he’s going to go down quickly.

Coca on why McGregor will win:Conor needs this win. He sounds focused, determined and ready. His weight looks on point, but it’s still right to question his cardio. I’m looking for McGregor to keep this on the feet and use his hand speed to set the tone. Feel out Round 1, KO in Round 2.

Crosby on why McGregor will win:I may be made out to look foolish like many others, but I’ve bought into the notion that we have the old, focused Conor back in our lives. He seems locked in this time around on taking back his kingdom, and Cowboy might actually be the perfect opponent to begin that journey. Cowboy, in unquestionably the most high-profile fight of his illustrious career, will aim to go for broke against the former two-division champion, which will ultimately lead to his demise when McGregor finds the opening to get his career back on the right track.

Wise on why McGregor will win: It’s been so hard to get a read on what exactly these two fighters have lined up for Saturday night that I wouldn’t feel comfortable betting either way. This is the kind of fight I just want to relax and see how it plays out. But when forced to pick between the two, it’s tough not to lean toward McGregor. His youth and experience on the biggest stages make it hard to doubt him. I also think at some point the wear and tear from Cerrone’s illustrious career has to catch up with him. His noticeable limp this week doesn’t help his case at all. Cerrone comes out guns blazing, but succumbs to the brilliant counter striking that has made McGregor the star he is today.

Who will win Cerrone vs. McGregor, and how exactly does each fight end?Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 246, all from the expert who’s up more than $19,000 on MMA in the past year.

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