Conor McGregor is less than two weeks away from his highly-anticipated return to the Octagon at UFC 246 where he will face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, January 18.
McGregor is favored entering the fight, but there are some who point towards Cerrone’s ground game as a reason that he could pull off the upset.
All of McGregor’s four professional losses came by way of submission, while Cerrone has 17 wins by submission throughout his career.
But while there are some questions about McGregor’s ground game, the former two-division champion’s jiu-jitsu coach Dillon Danis says people are underestimating McGregor’s skills on the ground.
“Conor’s always been prepared, man,” Danis told “The Schmo” in a recent interview. “Conor’s been one of the best jiu-jitsu guys that I’ve ever rolled with, like MMA-wise since I started training with him. His jiu-jitsu is on another level, and it always has been.
“I think people just underestimate him for some reason, but if it does go to the ground, they’ll see. They’ll see how good he is.”
McGregor last appeared inside of the Octagon in October 2018 when he suffered a submission loss to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Prior to his loss to Nurmagomedov, McGregor was on a two-fight winning streak with a welterweight bout victory over Nate Diaz and a Performance of the Night against Eddie Alvarez to claim the 155-pound title on November 12, 2016. However, McGregor was later stripped of the title due to inactivity — he was previously stripped of the featherweight belt after winning the lightweight crown.
Cerrone, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back after a two-fight losing streak. “Cowboy” went 2-2 in 2019 with wins over Al Iaquinta and Alexander Hernandez, while suffering losses to top lightweight contenders Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Three of Cerrone’s last four fights earned him $50,000 bonuses for Fight of the Night.
According to BetMGM.com, McGregor opened as nearly a 3-to-1 favorite. The moneyline currently has the former two-division champion as a -278 favorite for the welterweight bout while Cowboy sits at +200. That means a $100 wager on Cerrone would net you $200 in wins, while you would have to bet $278 on McGregor to win $100.
The UFC 246 main card will officially kickoff at 10:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 18 exclusively on pay-per-view.