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Eric Uribe | Fri 17/01/2020 - 06:55 EST

UFC 246 Preview: McGregor Returns To Octagon

UFC 246 Preview: McGregor Returns To Octagon
UFC 246 marks the return of "The Notorious" Conor McGregor after a long 15-month layoff from UFC competition. His return fight is far from a tune-up, though, as Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone is a viable foe for McGregor. We have a betting preview of that fight, along with other big UFC 246 matchups! Read this before wagering!

UFC 246 comes to you live on January 18. Per online oddsmakers, the favorites for the top three main card bouts are as follows:

  • Conor McGregor (-250)
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira (-250)
  • Holly Holm (-140)

We'll preview these three matchups, as well as offer up our free UFC 246 betting picks shortly. But before that, we want to remind you about the countless sign-up bonuses available for newbie bettors — worth hundreds of dollars in free play. Leveraging them, plus hitting on your UFC 246 bets, could equal a monstrous payoff to start off 2020 with a bang!

Welterweight: Connor McGregor (-250) vs. Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (+195)

In the year and a half since McGregor's last appearance in a UFC ring — a submission loss to rival Khabib Nurmagomedov — the Irishmen has been embroiled in one controversy after another. Now at 31 years old, a no-longer-in-his-prime McGregor has a lot of questions to answer come UFC 246

Yet, why does it feel like everyone is already looking ahead to McGregor's next fight — which could possibly be the trilogy versus Nate Diaz, a rematch with Khabib, or a first-time-ever against Jorge Masvidal? It's as if McGregor beating Cerrone is already a foregone conclusion in the eyes of pundits.  

We'd push pause on that narrative. Fighting Cowboy, especially at welterweight, is no layup for McGregor. He's only fought twice in this weight class, splitting bouts against Diaz.

Cerrone can definitely beat McGregor through grappling and submissions. Standing up, both almost equal, but we'd give McGregor the edge there. Throw in McGregor's ring rust and we could see multiple ways in which Cerrone pulls off the stunner.

We're not picking the upset, but we think it would be smart to lay a few bucks on Cerrone as insurance. Him at +195 is a pure value play. Still, McGregor is a UFC all-timer and despite the question marks, we're picking him to dig deep and will himself to victory like he's done so many times before. 

Betting pick to make: McGregor (-250) 

Lightweight: Anthony Pettis (+195) vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira (-250)

We'll get to the point right away: Ferreira is perhaps the most underrated fighter in the UFC. Period.

His MMA record is a respectable 16-2 (with one of those losses coming to the great Dustin Poirier). If not for his age, soon to be 35 years old, he'd be fast-tracked for UFC stardom.

Pettis star power may be higher, but he's not at the caliber of Ferreira, certainly not when it comes to in-ring consistency. Get this, in Pettis' last 11 fights, he's lost seven. That's too shaky and leads us to back Ferreira in this one. 

Betting pick to make: Carlos Diego Ferreira (-250)

Bantamweight: Holly Holm (-140) vs. Raquel Pennington (+110)

This is a rematch five years in the making. Back in February 2015, Holm won a split decision over Pennington at UFC 184. Since then, Holm has gone 4-5 in the octagon, while Pennington is 5-2.

Holm's career has just not been the same since beating Rousey (which came on her second fight post-Pennington). At 38 years old — seven years older than Pennington — she's also now in the twilight of her career.

We think Pennington evens up the series come UFC 246. Take the plus-odds and pick her to win via knockout.

Betting pick to make: Pennington (+110)

That does it for our UFC 246 fight card preview. Now it's on you to stake your claim on any one of these fights, if not all of 'em. You can plop down a bet at one of our partner sportsbooks below.

It's a hand-picked list of sportsbooks that truly put the bettor first. Signing up and depositing money can be completed in minutes. Once that's complete, you can wager on UFC 246 and future cards for years to come!

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