data-rsssl=1 class="blog-template blog-template-page_templates blog-template-template-blog-post blog-template-page_templatestemplate-blog-post-php single single-blog postid-251399">

Betting on Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone – Fight Prediction

By Adam Haynes in MMA & UFC
| December 10, 2022 1:51 am PST

Are you ready for Conor McGregor’s return in 2020?

Well, you better be, as UFC president Dana White confirmed on Thanksgiving that the UFC’s prodigal son will face Donald Cerrone on January 18 at UFC 246 in Las Vegas.

McGregor has not competed in the promotion since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2023. If you wanted to know how long it would take for McGregor to get over that one-sided loss, at least you now have your answer.

Cerrone, on the other hand, has fought five times since then. He won the first three of those bouts but is on a two-fight losing skid, having been stopped by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje in June and September of 2019.

McGregor opened as the early betting favorite over Cerrone, despite having competed just twice in MMA since November 2016. Interestingly, the bout will go down at welterweight, where the former lightweight champion has a record of 1-1, following a loss and a win against Nate Diaz in 2016.

Unlike McGregor’s lack of experience at welterweight, Cerrone has fought a total of 13 times at 170 pounds as a professional, with ten of those bouts coming under the UFC banner.

Fans are speculating that a win for McGregor could set up a fight with Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz at welterweight. But to those fans, I would say this — don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.

This is not going to be an easy fight for “The Notorious.”

Below, I cover the Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone betting odds, along with my preview and pick.

Latest Cerrone vs. McGregor Odds

Conor McGregor to Win -245
Donald Cerrone to Win +205

McGregor’s odds to beat Cerrone are -245 with MyBookie, while a Cerrone victory over the returning star comes in at +205.

Who are you going for? Still unsure? 

Read on, and let’s see if I can make things a little easier for you.

Will Conor McGregor Beat Cerrone?

If you are the “go-to” MMA guy in your friend group or among work colleagues, this is a question you might hear a lot over the next month or so.

And as simple as it sounds, it’s a fair question, right? McGregor is looking to make a comeback in 2020, presumably with the acquisition of some kind of title for his efforts. If he doesn’t beat Cerrone, then his stock will fall dramatically.

Despite being the moneyman of the sport, I genuinely think that the Dubliner has his eyes on a final title run this year.

McGregor was the first fighter in the history of the promotion to hold titles in two separate weight classes at the same time, but getting his hands on one championship this time around will prove to be much harder than it was in his first run in the promotion.

In case you missed it above, the bout is at welterweight. This division is currently bossed by Kamaru Usman — a guy that would ragdoll the Irishman if he got the chance to — with Colby Covington just beneath him.

Usman vs. Covington will fight on December 14 at UFC 245, but regardless of who wins that fight, McGregor doesn’t stand a chance against either. Yes, I said that, and I am sticking to it. 

With that in mind, is this fight against Cerrone setting up a shot at the “BMF” title currently held by Masvidal? I think it is. If McGregor is looking for a “title” to enhance his reputation as a self-promoter, that might be the one he sees as the easiest to acquire. No comment on that for now. 

The bottom line here is this — any thoughts on McGregor’s future should be put on ice until he gets into the cage against Cerrone. But if you are betting on McGregor to beat Cerrone, you have to consider a few things.

How McGregor Beats Cerrone

We haven’t seen a lot of Conor McGregor in recent times. The McGregor that we did know in his first run in the promotion is probably not the version we are going to see against Cerrone, too.

This raises questions over what the 31-year-old will take to the Octagon on January 18. Will there be an evolution in the former champion’s approach, or will the vulnerabilities present in that fight against Khabib be obvious against Cerrone?

Personally, I wouldn’t base my McGregor vs. Cerrone bets exclusively on the outcome of the Khabib fight, as this will be a completely different matchup. McGregor will have a lot more freedom to let those hands go and get closer to Cerrone than he would have against such a dominant wrestler like Nurmagomedov.

It is highly probable that this contest will be fought mostly on the feet, but you do have to consider that a wily veteran of the sport like Cowboy will try to take McGregor to the floor. 

At one time, McGregor’s takedown defense — and general ability to mix it up with wrestlers — was believed to be his glaring weakness. Even if he was beaten well by Khabib, Dustin Poirier’s loss to the champ earlier this year might have shown that he did better than first thought against the best wrestler in the business. 

McGregor’s best chance of winning this contest will be in the first couple of rounds. He will have to close the distance with Cowboy and try to overwhelm him and look for the stoppage. 

As we saw with Justin Gaethje’s win over Cerrone in September, great timing coupled with pressure, power, and precision is what can get the better of him.

Is Cerrone Better Than McGregor?

Is there anyone who deserves his very own “red panty night” more than Donald Cerrone?

The UFC fan favorite has been putting the work in for years, but he has fallen short at critical moments. His only title shot in the promotion ended in a 67-second blitz at the hands of (then) lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos in December 2015.

On January 18, 2020, Cerrone will be two months shy of 37 and will be looking to increase his records of the most wins and finishes in UFC history, at 23 and 16, respectively. 

Will one final payday — and a gargantuan one at that — be enough to convince him to hang up his gloves and leave the fight game behind him? If you think it is, then this is definitely something you should consider when betting on McGregor vs. Cerrone.

Look, Cerrone has nothing left to prove. You couldn’t blame him for ending his career with the fattest check he will ever be handed. But how much heart will we see from him if he knows it’s his last bout?

Just a couple of things to think about as an intelligent bettor. 

I digress. The question of Cerrone being a better fighter than McGregor is a difficult one to answer when we are comparing both fighters of today. McGregor’s inactivity means that we do not have much to base a logical argument on.

Sure, Cerrone has shown himself to be a high-level mixed martial artist at times, but he has also come up short so many times. McGregor has had more tangible success in the fight game but has a lot more to prove. 

Cerrone’s Incredible Record

McGregor might have tasted UFC gold a couple of times, but Cerrone’s record-breaking feats are incredible and a testament to his importance in the sport. 

Aside from the most wins and finishes, Cowboy also holds the all-time UFC records for the most knockdowns (20), post-fight bonuses (18), and knockouts via kicks (7). A special fighter, no doubt.

Can he add to these records against McGregor on January 18? Well, if he is to beat The Notorious, he could very well end up being the last fighter to ever go in there against the UFC’s biggest ever star.

There is no doubt that Cerrone has excellent striking and very underrated wrestling and BJJ. He is a smart fighter that will devise a strategy that is tailor-made for McGregor and will look to execute it with precision.

McGregor’s job will be to target Cerrone’s weaknesses, which aren’t exactly glaring ones. 

The American does have a tendency to start slow, however, and this will be something that his opponent on the night will be looking to test. If McGregor can deal with Cerrone’s leg kicks and get within striking range early, it could end up being a very quick finish.

Betting on McGregor to Beat Cerrone

Despite there being no title on the line, this is scheduled as the main event, therefore, a five-round fight. 

Now, one thing that first came to mind was whether this was a good move for McGregor. Given the fact that his most outstanding flaw as a UFC fighter has been poor cardio, could this work against him?

We have not seen much of Conor McGregor as a fighter over the past few years. The reason why is that he has been very inactive. Inactivity equals ring/cage rust.

Unless he is throwing all of his chips down on going in there and stopping Cerrone in the first couple of rounds, McGregor will first have to be in extremely good shape to win. Cowboy is one of the most active fighters on the roster and will be ready to go the full five.

Of course, conditioning alone does not win fights, even if it is crucial. As pointed out above, Cerrone is an incredibly gifted striker, with an excellent Muay Thai/kickboxing background. He is a blackbelt in BJJ, with 17 submission victories in his career.

Make no mistake, Cowboy is an awesome fighter and will be a huge test for McGregor. But at 36, his best days are more than likely behind him. A hugely popular figure among fans, he is the perfect opponent for McGregor’s comeback in many ways, but can he upset the applecart here?

Why McGregor Will Beat Cerrone

I’ll say it right off the bat — I believe McGregor wins this fight. Whether you agree with me or not is up to you, and I respect that you might feel McGregor’s chances against Cerrone are a little overblown. 

I, for one, would not blame you for thinking long and hard against betting on McGregor to beat Cowboy. In fact, I would expect anyone who puts their money on a fighter to do their homework on that guy.

However, I base my prediction for McGregor vs. Cerrone on a couple of factors.

For one, I think McGregor’s power is going to trouble Cerrone from the get-go. Secondly, I think Cowboy will start slow in this fight, to his detriment. And finally, there are questions over his durability that I think McGregor will answer on the night.

Those betting on Cerrone to beat McGregor will be tempted by things such as the long layoff and a sense that he is more concerned with selling whiskey and avoiding the repercussions of some of his legal issues.

What I would say to this is that McGregor might be, in an ironic twist, more dedicated to his craft than he has been because of this. In an effort to forget those pressures, I think he has thrown himself into training and will look a lot sharper than he did against Khabib.

I’m not saying that the 2015 version of McGregor will be back, but my prediction is that he wins this fight. 

  • Conor McGregor

Final Thoughts on the Fight

If McGregor beats Cerrone on January 18, 2020, we could be set for another mammoth year of UFC fights. 

Of course, the odds on Cowboy to beat McGregor will be nothing compared to the number of publications looking to write the Irishman off if that does happen. I would go as far as to suggest that McGregor will walk away from MMA for good if he loses.

What’s your prediction for McGregor vs. Cerrone? Head over to one of the top UFC betting sites and see if your pick for the first major bout of the year can earn you a little something to celebrate on the night. 

And finally, feel free to let me know how you see this one going by using the comments section below.

Enjoy the fight!

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA and boxing.

A self-confessed sports fanatic, when Adam is not watching and writing about rugby, soccer, Gaelic Games, and F1, he can often be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a big fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

More Posts by Adam Contact Adam