As UFC 246 nears, Conor McGregor  continues to be a fair sized favorite to beat Donald Cerrone.  In fact, some people have opined that McGregor’s taken a warm-up fight by facing “Cowboy”. But, recently Chael Sonnen outlined why he’s predicting Cerrone will shock the MMA world, Saturday night.
Sonnen weighs-in on McGregor vs. Cerrone
UFC 246 is less than a week away, and McGregor remains a pretty significant favorite on the betting lines to take the bout. As this is being written, the former featherweight and lightweight champ is carrying odds ranging from -293 to -333. While most people understand how dangerous Cerrone can be, the veteran is now 36, and he’s coming off back-to-back losses to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
“We’re gonna know after the first round who’s going to win the contest. If Conor loses the first round, he is losing the contest,” Sonnen said.
“(Conor’s) a great starter. Many people have said that Cowboy is a slow starter, (but) I haven’t seen that. I don’t really know where that dialog comes from. I have never thought of “Cowboy” Cerrone as a slow starter, but I hear that out there.”
“You are going to have a little bit of a speed deficit,” Sonnen said about Cerrone. “Donald Cerrone is going to have to use tactics and techniques. He’s going to have to circle in certain ways. He’s going to have to push in certain ways to take some of the emphasis and some of the power and timing off of Conor’s left hand.
“If Donald goes out there and does that all in the very first round, he will be able to carry that through the night. You want a prediction? Straight up I believe Cowboy Cerrone finds an upset.”
A bold prediction?
Sonnen’s comments are certainly interesting, particularly his point that he doesn’t see Cerrone as a slow starter. Many others have argued that Cerrone takes time to establish his reads and to put his combinations together effectively. “Cowboy” himself has also said that often he takes a bit to get going in the cage.
All that aside, is picking Cerrone a bold prediction? Not really. While there are very compelling reasons to pick McGregor, in Cerrone we are talking about one of the most experienced and well rounded fighters on the UFC roster.
If Cerrone does defeat McGregor, however, the fall out is going to be massive. McGregor’s drawing power will likely be significantly reduced, and questions about his fighting future will undoubtedly fire around the web.
UFC 246 will be hosted by the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.