UFC

UFC 246: Conor McGregor v Donald Cerrone - Tale of the tape

By Sports Desk January 16, 2020

After the mass brawl that marred his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov and the subsequent ban and retirement, Conor McGregor is back in the UFC.

McGregor will go up against Donald Cerrone in a welterweight fight at UFC 246 in Las Vegas, which he hopes will be the first of three fights in 2020 – the ultimate goal being a rematch with Khabib.

But veteran fighter Cerrone, whose first professional mixed martial arts fight was almost 14 years ago, will be no walk over.

Ahead of the highly anticipated encounter, we look at the tale of the tape.

 

Conor McGregor

Nickname: The Notorious
Age: 31
Height: 175cm
Reach: 188cm
Leg reach: 102cm
Record: 21-4-0
Wins/losses by knockout: 18/0
Wins/losses by submission: 1/4
Wins/losses by decision: 2/0
Last three fights: Khabib Nurmagomedov (L - R4 submission), Eddie Alvarez (W - R2 KO), Nate Diaz (W - majority decision)
Fight night bonuses: Performance of the Night (6), Fight of the Night (2), Knockout of the Night (1)
Career highlight: Becoming the first man to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously, adding the lightweight belt to his featherweight championship.

Donald Cerrone

Nickname: Cowboy
Age: 36
Height: 185cm
Reach: 185cm
Leg reach: 103cm
Record: 36-13-0, 1NC
Wins/losses by knockout: 10/6
Wins/losses by submission: 17/1
Wins/losses by decision: 9/6
Last three fights: Justin Gaethje (L - R1 KO/TKO), Tony Ferguson (L - R2 TKO), Al Iaquinta (W - R5 unanimous decision)
Fight night bonuses: Performance of the Night (7), Fight of the Night (11), Knockout of the Night (3), Submission of the Night (2)
Career highlight: Becoming the UFC's all-time wins leader by beating Mike Perry at Fight Night Denver in November 2018. He now leads the way with 23.

Related items

  • Conor McGregor won't fight again in 2020, insists UFC president White Conor McGregor won't fight again in 2020, insists UFC president White

    UFC president Dana White said Conor McGregor will not fight again this year, while adding no bout is planned for the Irish star in 2021.

    McGregor announced his decision to retire in June, having returned to the Octagon in January after a 15-month absence and knocked out Donald Cerrone at welterweight in just 40 seconds.

    Former featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor had been planning to fight three times in 2020, however, the coronavirus pandemic scuppered that strategy.

    And White insisted there are no plans for McGregor to return to UFC in 2020.

    "This year, he is retired," White told Barstool Sports on Monday.

    "He doesn't have a fight this year, and he won't have a fight this year. Conor McGregor will not fight in 2020.

    "I'm not saying he won't fight in 2021, but I'm telling you we don't have a fight planned for him in 2021. But I guarantee you he will not fight in 2020. Conor McGregor is retired."

    White added: "Do we all believe he'll stay retired? I think most of us don't believe that he'll remain retired, but let me put it to you this way: I owe fighters that are under contract with me three fights a year.

    "OK? If I don't deliver those three fights a year, I have to pay them. Conor McGregor is retired, whether people want to believe it or not.

    "He is not fighting right now, so when he's not fighting, I don't even think about him or what he's doing or any of that stuff on a business level. I'll still shoot him a text personally, but on a business level, he's out of the mix. He's not fighting at all. So everybody keeps asking questions about him, and I'm like, 'Manny Pacquiao? What the f*** are you talking about?"

  • Ronaldo, Dybala, Immobile trident leads Opta's Serie A 'Team of the Season' Ronaldo, Dybala, Immobile trident leads Opta's Serie A 'Team of the Season'

    There was a predictable champion at the end of the 2019-20 Serie A campaign as Juventus clinched a ninth successive Scudetto, and their success is reflected in Opta's Team of the Season. 

    Although Juve finished 2019-20 just a point ahead of second-placed Inter, they had wrapped up the title with two games to go – beating Sampdoria 2-0 on July 26.

    Cristiano Ronaldo was unsurprisingly key, finishing as his team's top scorer, but for much of the season there were a few sides that looked like they might push Juve all the way.

    Inter, Atalanta and Lazio all had their moments where they were able to dream and they each had individuals who impressed.

    Following the conclusion on the campaign on Sunday, we teamed up with Opta to outline the Serie A Team of the Season.

    OPTA'S SERIE A TEAM OF THE SEASON

    GK: Wojciech Szczesny, Juventus

    Poland international Szczesny has come a long way since struggling in the latter part of his Arsenal career. He was once again a dependable option between the posts, remaining first choice despite the return of Gianluigi Buffon. He ended the season with a 74.4 per cent save success rate, the best of the Serie A goalkeepers to have played 20 or more times.

    RB: Juan Cuadrado, Juventus

    Hardly the most convincing of defenders, granted, but Cuadrado boasts the versatility to play in a few roles down the right flank and he became an important figure for Maurizio Sarri – his 28 Serie A starts is just one fewer than he managed in the previous two seasons combined. The Colombian was certainly influential, too, as he was involved in more open-play sequences that ended with a shot made by someone else (132) than any other player this term. He also chipped in with two goals and five assists.

    CB: Stefan de Vrij, Inter

    No team conceded fewer goals in Serie A this season than an Inter side that Antonio Conte ensured was well-drilled. Netherlands centre-back De Vrij played a major role in that as he featured 34 times – though his efforts were not notable just for his defensive effectiveness. The former Feyenoord man scored three goals and also set up another three, making him the most productive centre-back in the league in this regard.

    CB: Francesco Acerbi, Lazio

    After Inter, the next-best defensive unit in Serie A was Lazio, who let in 42 (six more than Conte's men). Acerbi missed just two games all season and his form at the start of the season also saw him make three starts for Italy. The 32-year-old has proven himself to be one of Serie A's best stoppers, as evidenced by the fact he was dribbled past just six times this term. No other outfield player with more than 35 appearances did better than that.

    LB: Theo Hernandez, Milan

    Former France youth international Hernandez has rediscovered the early promise he showed during a fine loan spell at Deportivo Alaves in 2016-17. While question marks remain over his defensive abilities, the Atletico Madrid youth product has excited with his attacking tendencies in 2019-20. No defender completed more dribbles (57) than him, while he also had a hand in nine goals (six goals, three assists).

    CM: Luis Alberto, Lazio

    Since leaving Liverpool for Rome in 2016, Luis Alberto has arguably developed into one of the world's best creative midfielders. The Spain international sees passes few others can and he has put that to particularly good use in 2019-20, with his 106 chances created being a Serie A high. Similarly, his 15 assists was second only to Alejandro Gomez (16), as he helped Simone Inzaghi's men mount a title challenge. Often linked with a return home to Sevilla, Lazio will surely be doing everything they can to keep Luis Alberto at Stadio Olimpico.

    CM: Fabian Ruiz, Napoli

    The other half of a Seville-centric midfield, Real Betis product Fabian probably hasn't impressed quite as much as he did in 2018-19, but he has nevertheless continued to show plenty of promise. Still only 24, Fabian attempted the most passes (2,331) of any player in the league this season, while he had a hand in nine goals, the same amount as in the previous campaign.

    AM: Alejandro Gomez, Atalanta

    Like a fine wine, 'Papu' Gomez just seems to get better with age. Now 32, the Argentinian has enjoyed a fantastic season for the often-exhilarating Atalanta. He scored seven goals for a second successive season, but his haul of 16 assists is five more than 2018-19. That figure is the highest since Opta records began in 2004-05.

    FWD: Paulo Dybala, Juventus

    The Sarri-Juventus combination continues to puzzle many, but if there's one thing he has got right, it's helping Dybala get back to something resembling his best. He had been strongly linked with a move away last year, but Dybala was involved in 17 Serie A goals this term (11 goals, six assists) and managed to coexist with Ronaldo more effectively. Of his 11 strikes, eight (73 per cent) were the opening goals of matches, the biggest quantity among players with 10 or more.

    FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus

    Considering there being murmurs of discontent between himself and Sarri, and suggestions the coach hasn't been able to get the best out of the Portugal great, Ronaldo's had a pretty effective year. With 31 league goals, it's been his best goal-scoring campaign domestically since getting 35 with Real Madrid in 2015-16, while his goals have secured 24 points, more than any other player.

    FWD: Ciro Immobile, Lazio

    What a season Immobile has had. With 36 league goals, the Italy international equalled Gonzalo Higuain's record for a single campaign, while that haul also won him the coveted European Golden Shoe. On top of that, his record of nine assists was bettered by only Gomez, Luis Alberto and Domenico Berardi. If he can keep it up, Lazio will surely fancy themselves of challenging Juve again next term.

  • Karim Benzema from strike ace to...strike ace? Real Madrid star fancies a crack at MMA Karim Benzema from strike ace to...strike ace? Real Madrid star fancies a crack at MMA

    Real Madrid star Karim Benzema had a simple answer when asked if he fancies a crack at mixed martial arts after his football career comes to an end: "No problem for me, I'm up for it!"

    Benzema, 32, enjoyed a brilliant campaign for Madrid, scoring 21 goals and providing eight assists as Los Blancos beat Barcelona to the LaLiga title.

    Such form suggests Benzema still has plenty of legs left in football yet, even though he may be approaching the twilight years of his career.

    But there are other challenges that appeal to the French striker, including it seems having a go at the fight game.

    Benzema took questions from several friends for a YouTube video, one of which came from French kickboxer Fouad Ezbiri, who he has trained with in the past.

    Ezbiri asked if Benzema - a fan of fight sports - ever had plans to step in the ring at least once.

    "Well Fouad my broski, in any case I hope you're doing good, and it's true that I love fighting sports," Benzema said. 

    "I love training, as you say we already trained, after the soccer why not train with you for six months and if you think I can be ready for a fight, no problem for me, I'm up for it!"

    Benzema also responded to a separate question about how much longer he feels he has left in football.

    "I'm working a lot. I pay attention to everything I do, I take care of myself and I'm trying to get the best out of me as possible," Benzema added. 

    "I know this is not the beginning of my career but in any case, for me, age does not mean anything and yeah we're going to do everything."

    Benzema also revealed three major sporting influences of his, saying: "It depends there are many people who have inspired me but we'll take soccer for example. It's Ronaldo, the Brazilian, so he's the one who made me love football, simply. It's thanks to what he did but everyone knows it. 

    "Then athletic, although I'm not a big fan of basketball, but I would say Michael Jordan for what he did, what he has been with the Chicago Bulls. And then another athlete I would say Mike Tyson, there you go Mike Tyson, because it's the power."

    Real Madrid team-mate James Rodriguez pondered whether Benzema prefers scoring or assisting a team-mate.

    "I'll answer you sincerely. Making assists or scoring goals are two different things but not that different and I like to do both," he said. 

    "To choose, I choose to score. On the other hand if my partner is good and sure to score I'll pass him the ball and offer him the goal. So, I choose both my brother."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.