Jorge Masvidal Sees Advantages for Both McGregor, Cerrone in UFC 246 Main Event
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Jorge Masvidal already has experience facing one of the competitors in the UFC 246 headliner, and the other could be a future opponent if he is victorious.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, “Gamebred” offered his thoughts on Saturday’s welterweight battle between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone. Like many in the MMA community, Masvidal is well aware of McGregor’s penchant to start quickly.
“Conor’s amazing off the blocks,” Masvidal said. “I think he’s got great timing. While guys are getting their timing, Conor’s already coming in with the timing. He already has their timing by the time you go to your timing. Good power, good confidence in it. I would rank Conor one of the better starters of the sport.
Masvidal also acknowledged Cerrone’s tendency to take some time to find a rhythm in his fights, which could be an issue against an opponent who looks for a quick knockout.
“Donald, on the other hand, is more of a rhythm fighter. He takes a little bit to work at it. He puts his feints together, his movements, starts gauging speeds, see how fast, how strong they’re throwing.
“So, he works on that, and he’s like a rhythm fighter. So, with time he does a little bit better, and I think he’s got a little bit better endurance than Conor as well. So, if Cowboy comes out and he’s like a dual threat, it becomes more of a problem — then I start to lean more to Cowboy. If he just comes out flatfooted and he’s in front of Conor, I heavily go towards Conor.”
McGregor hasn’t competed since a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight title bout at UFC 229 in October 2018, and he hasn’t won in the Octagon since claiming 155-pound gold against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016. Still, Masvidal believes Cerrone could be a good stylistic matchup for the “Notorious” one.
“It’s just tailor made for Conor,” Masvidal said. “Flatfooted, right-handed fighter is just custom made for a southpaw with a decent left hand. So, it can be interesting, because even in that mayhem Cowboy can land the knee; he could land the kick. He’s the bigger guy. But I think it really depends on Cowboy, what kind of strategy he comes out with.”
Cerrone is currently on a two-fight skid following back-to-back losses against Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, two of the top lightweights in the sport today. At 36 years old, the BMF Ranch founder is no longer in his prime, but Masvidal says that doesn’t make him an easy out for McGregor.
“He’s back to fight a top contender,” Masvidal said of McGregor. “He’s not picking no slouch, he’s fighting a stud in Cowboy. It’s an older Cowboy that’s been through a lot of wars, yes, but it’s still Cowboy. Not only is he a draw, but he’s a very competitive individual. I think he’s like number five or six in the world right now. So, he’s definitely no slouch.
“Were there tougher fights? Of course, there was probably tougher fights. But it’s a great fight. I’ll be tuning in and I’ll be watching.”