Conor McGregor Ambushes Donald Cerrone, Authors 40-Second Stoppage Atop UFC 246

By Brian Knapp Jan 18, 2020

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 set the mixed martial arts world ablaze like only he can, and he needed less than a minute to do so.

Making his first appearance being submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov on Oct. 6, 2018, the former two-division Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder dispatched Donald Cerrone with a head kick and follow-up punches in the UFC 246 headliner on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cerrone (36-14, 23-11 UFC) bit the dust 40 seconds into Round 1.

McGregor (22-4, 10-2 UFC) surprised “Cowboy” at the start with a series of shoulder strikes from the clinch, leaving damage to his left eye and nose. Upon separation, the SBG Ireland cornerstone clipped Cerrone with a head kick, overwhelmed him with punches and waited for referee Herb Dean to step in.

Clinch-Centric Holm Quiets Pennington

An overpowering clinch carried Jackson-Wink MMA mainstay Holly Holm to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 semifinalist Raquel Pennington in the women’s bantamweight co-main event. All three judges sided with Holm (13-5, 6-5 UFC): 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.

Pennington (10-8, 7-5 UFC)—who lost a contentious to split decision to Holm in their first meeting five years ago—had no answer for “The Preacher’s Daughter” at close range. Holm pressed her counterpart into the fence repeatedly, controlled the exchanges and scored with upward elbows, knee strikes and short punches. While the approach lacked entertainment value, it was undeniably effective.

Holm has won three of her last five fights.

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Oleynik Armbar Taps Greene

American Top Team’s Alexey Oleynik submitted Maurice Greene with an armbar in the second round of their heavyweight feature. Greene (8-4, 3-2 UFC) bowed out 4:38 into Round 2, as he suffered his second defeat in as many appearances.

Oleynik (58-13-1, 7-4 UFC) unfurled winging power punches, moved into clinch range and secured a takedown a little more than a minute into the first round. Greene survived the vice-like scarf hold from the Russian submission savant, but the seeds of doubt had been sown. Oleynik fought through fatigue in Round 2, landed another takedown and ultimately put himself in position to execute a belly-down armbar.

It was Oleynik’s first armbar submission since March 25, 2012.

Kelleher Guillotine Dismisses Osbourne

Former Ring of Combat champion Brian Kelleher submitted Dana White’s Contender Series alum Ode Osbourne with a guillotine choke in the first round of their bantamweight showcase. Osbourne (10-3, 0-1 UFC) bowed out 2:49 into Round 1, his four-fight winning streak at an end.

Kelleher (20-10, 4-3 UFC) delivered a takedown, applied his ground-and-pound and moved to half guard. There, he made a subtle transition to the guillotine, sat back on the choke and wrapped Osbourne in full guard, prompting the tapout.

The win was Kelleher’s first in nearly two years and halted his two-fight losing streak.

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Ferreira Choke Submits Pettis

Fortis MMA representative Diego Ferreira submitted former UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting champion Anthony Pettis with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their featured lightweight pairing. Pettis (22-10, 9-9 UFC) conceded defeat 1:46 into Round, submitting for just the second time in his 32-fight career.

Ferreira (17-2, 8-2 UFC) closed the distance in the first round, advanced to the back and secured his position with hooks, making his intentions known. Early in Round 2, he powered into top position, threaded his hooks once more and bit down on the choke to force the tapout from Pettis.

The 34-year-old Ferreira has rattled off six consecutive victories.

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