Conor McGregor is back. With a bang.
The Irish superstar made a triumphant return to UFC 246 in Las Vegas, dispatching Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-14-0) less than a minute into his first octagon fight since October 2018.
After a brief clinch and a kick from Cerrone, McGregor (22-4-0) landed a left headkick that hurt Cowboy. A leaping knee and follow-up left hands dropped Cerrone, where further strikes forced referee Herb Dean to call the bout 40 seconds into the opening frame.
WOW THAT WAS QUICK
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 19, 2020
Drew Dober, Brian Kelleher, Aleksey Oleineik, Diego Ferreira, and McGregor all earned performance of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
SABINA MAZO VS. J.J. ALDRICH
WINNER: SABINA MAZO VIA SD (29-28, 28-29 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: J.J. ALDRICH VIA UD
Andrews: Close fight, but Mazo had the volume and she hurt Aldrich too.
#7 TIM ELLIOTT VS. #12 ASKAR ASKAROV
WINNER: ASKAR ASKAROV VIA UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ASKAR ASKAROV VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: Timmy just got outworked. Seems like yesterday he was the stud in TUF.
ALEKSA CAMUR VS. JUSTIN LEDET
WINNER: ALEKSA CAMUR VIA UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEKSA CAMUR VIA TKO
Andrews: Close fight, but Camur finished stronger in the last round.
TSN 5 PRELIMS/ESPN PRELIMS
DREW DOBER VS. NASRAT HAQPARAST
WINNER: DREW DOBER VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 1:10
ANDREWS PREDICTION: NASRAT HAQPARAST VIA TKO
Andrews: Nasrat went for it but got caught with the left hand clean. Excellent win for Drew.
ANDRE FILI VS. SODIQ YUSUFF
WINNER: SODIQ HUSUFF VIA UD (29-28, 28-29 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: SODIQ HUSUFF VIA TKO
Andrews: He didn’t get the finish, but my man Sodiq continues to impress. Fili is no tomato can.
#7 ROXANNE MODAFFERI VS. #9 ROXANNE MODAFFERI
WINNER: ROXANNE MODAFFERI VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: MAYCEE BARBER VIA TKO
Andrews: Roxanne with another great performance, but what happened to Barber? Her left leg was hurt, too. Very nice show of respect afterwards.
#11 ANTHONY PETTIS VS. DIEGO FERREIRA
WINNER: DIEGO FERREIRA VIA SUBMISSION (RNC) R2 1:46
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANTHONY PETTIS VIA UD
Andrews: Pettis was doing okay, but as soon as the fight goes to the ground, he is vulnerable. Excellent win for Diego.
BRIAN KELLEHER VS. ODE OSBOURNE
WINNER: BRIAN KELLEHER VIA SUBMISSION (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) R1 2:49
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ODE OSBOURNE VIA TKO
Andrews: Wow! Quick and tidy work here.
#12 ALEXEY OLEINEIK VS. MAURICE GREENE
WINNER: ALEKSEY OLEINEIK VIA SUBMISSION (ARMBAR) R2 4:38
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEKSEY OLEINEIK VIA TKO
Andrews: Aleksey uses his wits once again to outsmart and frustrate Greene.
#3 HOLLY HOLM VS. #5 RAQUEL PENNINGTON
— UFC (@ufc) January 19, 2020
WINNER: HOLLY HOLM VIA UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: HOLLY HOLM VIA UD
Andrews: Not an exciting fight, but Holly did what she needed to do.
#4 CONOR MCGREGOR VS. #5 DONALD CERRONE
WINNER: CONOR MCGREGOR VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 0:40
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CONOR MCGREGOR VIA TKO
Andrews: Wow! He caught Cerrone early and finished the deal like a champ. Well done.