In his first return to the Octagon since his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October of 2018, Conor McGregor did not disappoint. He quickly disposed of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone by way of TKO within 40 seconds of the first round. His win served as an announcement to the rest of the UFC that he remains an elite force to be reckoned with and his loss to Khabib was more of a testament to Khabib’s supreme grappling rather than a display of decline in the octagon. The following are points to follow, going forward in Mcgregor’s career:
1. Weight Class
Conor’s most recent bout with Cerrone was fought in the 170 pound weight class, and he looked comfortable at the weight. A question many had going into the bout was whether McGregor’s stamina would be able to sustain itself through a five round bout, but he quickly ended the bout in 40 seconds. McGregor had made a name for himself in the UFC in the 145 pound weight class, but has not fought in the weight class since December of 2015 when he knocked out Josè Aldo. McGregor’s most natural weight class is in the lightweight divison of 155 pounds where he has been a champion for the UFC and Cage Warriors.
McGregor has been known for his style of fighting which is that of a striker and the standup game. His only losses in the UFC have been by way of submission against elite grapplers, Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov. In his fight he quickly disposed of Cerrone through a combination of striking, leg kicks and shoulder thrusts. Many were eager to see if the match would have gone to the ground and if McGregor’s ground game had improved after another training camp with Dillon Danis, but it seems we will continue to see if McGregor’s achilles heel improves.
3. Opponents Going Forward
As far as opponents going forward, as usual, McGregor has plenty to choose from. The fight he is gunning for and wants immediately is a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov. His submission loss obviously has left a sour taste in his mouth, and is an event he would like to avenge, just as he did with Nate Diaz in 2016. Speaking of Diaz, both fighters have acknowledged interest in a trilogy fight with both having victories over one another. Lastly, Jorge Masvidal has crept his way into the mainstream UFC picture with dominating victories over Ben Askren and Nate Diaz in 2019. A bout against the naturally bigger man would be the type of challenge that McGregor is known for taking and could propel him back in title contention.
Featured Photo Source: Forbes
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