The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 246 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.
Conor McGregor hasn’t been on the ground too often during his mixed martial arts career, which is why many see that as a path to victory for Donald Cerrone at UFC 246.
In his last Octagon appearance, McGregor was grounded repeatedly by UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in a fourth-round submission defeat in October 2018. While Cerrone is not on the Dagestani’s level as a grappler, he has improved his wrestling significantly since his MMA career began and he has long been known for a crafty submission game.
“Cowboy” didn’t take much from Nurmagomedov’s victory over McGregor at UFC 229, however.
Khabib was a f---ing animal. He'd just take people down to control, control, control, so it kind of figured if you didn't knock him out, that was the outcome it was going to be,” Cerrone recently told ESPN.
“Khabib has such great takedowns and such great control, so it's hard to measure someone's success. You don't really see much of Conor's ground game in any of his fights, right?” he continued. “Khabib controlled the s--- out of him on the ground, so it's just hard to gauge on that. You don't know what Conor's been working with, what he's doing. I'm sure he's in the gym working on that. He's not the kind of guy that's just gonna be like, "I don't need to worry about the ground," so I'm sure he's working and thriving there.”
Even though Cerrone acknowledges that he should probably test his opponent’s mettle on the canvas, it sounds as though he is far more interested in engaging in a standup battle with the Irish star.
“I probably should [take him down], but I don’t think I will. I like to fight, too. I like to get in there and throw down,” Cerrone said. “Everyone says his standup is amazing, so why not go and test it? Everyone says, ‘You want to just stand there and get knocked out. That’s such a stupid game; that’s a stupid decision.’ But its my decision. It’s my stupidity. Who the f—k are you to tell me what I can do?
“I know who I am. I look in the mirror, I know exactly who I am, so I get to go and make the decision. Why wouldn’t I want to stand with one of the best? Why not? Can I take the punch? That’s the question I want to know. Can he take my f—-ing kicks? That’s the question I want to know.”