The first UFC card of the year is finally here and isn’t it a big one. Conor McGregor makes his long-awaited return since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 against a fan favourite in Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Add into the mix former champions Holly Holm, Anthony Pettis and Claudia Gadelha and some exciting prelims makes UFC 246 a card that no fight fan can afford to miss.
UFC 246 Betting Picks
Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
What a way to start 2020 for the UFC with ‘Notorious’ returning for the first time since his submission loss at UFC 229. With no disrespect to Cowboy this is a level down in what Conor has faced in recent times but remains far from an easy fight for him. This fight will be at Welterweight, a division above what is arguably both of their strongest divisions. In saying that the main factor of this fight isn’t that it is at Welterweight it is how much has McGregor improved since we last saw him? It was always his timing not power that has caused people all sorts of problems as he is not a single punch knock out threat, he is an accumulation puncher, with the only single knock out shot KO in the UFC being the KO of Aldo.
Cowboy has outwardly said he will stand with Conor and if that is really his game plan this is not going to end well for the veteran. McGregor is cleaner and quicker than his counterpart and is sure to come into this fight wanting to make a statement.
If Cerrone can last the early rounds and utilise his underrated ground game, he is in with a chance of the upset but McGregor wasn’t a double champ for his trash talking and he really should be able to get past Cowboy here without too much hassle. McGregor gets the win and gets himself back in the title conversation. What an exciting year we have ahead of us!
Pick: Conor McGregor to win (-300 at BetRivers)
Claudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso
Claudia Gadelha pulled out of her most recent scheduled fight against Cynthia Calvillo as she succumbed to an ankle injury. That for mine was a much harder fight for her than Grasso. Alexa Grasso lost her most recent bout to former champion Carla Esparza who Gadelha beat the year prior. This is a bad match up for Grasso who’s three losses have all come from grapplers and Gadelha is probably the best grappler she has faced. Gadelha presses forward happily absorbing shots in order to get this to the mat where she either gets the submission win or grinds out Grasso on the way to decisive decision victory.
Pick: Claudia Gadelha to win (-110 at BetRivers)
Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov
The best way to describe this fight is wild and that’s why I will be picking this not to go the distance. On one side you have Tim Elliot who has alternated wins and losses since losing a decision to Demetrious Johnson. He loves the ground scrambles and locking up submissions but so does his opponent Askar Askarov who’s coming off a draw in his UFC debut against Brandon Moreno. Both fighters love an unconventional fight and with both eager for a finish I see one occurring here most likely by Askarov catching Elliot’s neck in transition but I would not be surprised if it was the other way around. Askarov has finished all of his ten wins and will be looking to make that eleven from eleven. One thing that is for sure is this is going to be entertaining while it lasts.
Pick: Will the fight go the distance – No (+110 at BetRivers)
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