UFC 246 Review
The UFC started 2020 with a its first card of the year being a massive event that had the eyes of the world watching in Las Vegas, as UFC 246 was headlined at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada. Two of the biggest names in the sport and fan favourites, Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone met in a welterweight confrontation.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Maycee Barber (Flyweight bout)
One of the pioneers of women's MMA met one of its rising stars as veteran Roxanne Modafferi met the undefeated Maycee Barber, in what was touted as a changing of the guard. Barber started well as she moved forward, throwing sharp punches but Roxanne was able to get the first takedown after landing a straight right and she was able to keep the 21 year old on her back for the majority of the round but Maycee was able to almost sink in a guillotine as Roxanne momentarily lost concentration. Barber was dropped very early on in round 2 as once again the veteran took top control and started to land ground and pound, including a heavy elbow that cut Maycee badly, as once again Modafferi dominated the round from top position. Maycee's knee was damaged and Roxanne was able to take advantage of it and take Barber down again in the third round but she was still able to get into top position herself but Roxanne was able to finish the fight on top as Barber was a bloody mess at the final buzzer. The judges scored it 30-27, 30-27 & 30-26 for the 37 year old as Modafferi improves to 24-17 from her 41 bouts, whilst Maycee tastes defeat for the first time and is now 8-1
Anthony Pettis vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira (Lightweight bout)
Former WEC and UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis looked to rebound from defeat to Nate Diaz last time around against Brazilian Carlos Ferreira. Ferreira started well, pressuring Pettis early on and initiated a clinch against the fence. He took Pettis down and took his back but he was able to fight off the attack and get back to his feet but Carlos was able to keep the momentum going and took Anthony down towards the final moments in the first round. In round two, Ferreira was able to take Pettis' back very early on and was able to control the former champion, securing a choke that forced Showtime to tap midway through the 2nd via a Rear Naked Choke. The 35 year old Carlos Ferreira moved his record to an impressive 17-2, whilst Anthony 'Showtime' Pettis is now 22-10 and will look to analyse his situation from here.
Brian Kelleher vs. Ode' Osbourne (Bantamweight bout)
Ode' started his UFC debut well and come out with a flying knee attack, showing his evidently faster speed but Kelleher was able to secure the first takedown of the fight and maintain control of Osbourne against the cage. When he saw the opportunity to go for a submission, he saw that Osbourne had his neck unprotected for just a second but it was enough for him to sink in a guillotine and get the early submission victory in round one. The 33 year old New Yorker snaps a 2 fight losing streak to move to 20-10, whilst the young Ode' Osbourne will need an improvement next time out as he is 8-3, 1nc from his 12 bouts.
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Maurice Greene (Heavyweight bout)
Battle hardened Aleksei Oleinik met Maurice Greene in a battle of the heavyweights. Maurice started well, landing a heavy kick and crisp uppercut but the experienced Oleinik was able to force the fight to the ground with a great trip, where he had the sizeable advantage in skill. The 42 year old Russian did well to keep the pressure on from top position but Aleksei got caught in a tight submission that he was able to survive, even throwing punches from the bottom towards the end of the round. In the second round, Maurice began having success on the feet, rocking he Russian with a heavy knee to the head and a high kick but Oleinik was able to trip him down to the canvas again, where he proceeded to go to work looking for a submission. He caught Maurice in a tight armbar late on in the round in an entertaining contest and the American was forced to tap. Aleksei Oleinik is now 58-13-1 in his incredible career, with the 46th career submission coming for the 'boa constrictor'. Maurice Greene is now 8-4 in his career, but his stock will assuredly rise after a good performance tonight for the 33 year old.
Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington (Bantamweight bout)
In a rematch of a bout that took place in February 2015 at UFC 184, Raquel Pennington looked to avenge a split decision loss to the former bantamweight champion Holly Holm. It was a strategic opening to the contest with both fighters looking for openings and Holm trying to keep the distance with leg kicks. Pennington rushed in and Holly took advantage by clinching her against the fence and landing some good strikes as Pennington tried to fight her off in a battle for position. Once again, Holly put Pennington on the back foot against the cage and tried to impede her strength on the 31 year old. Holly landed her side kick to the leg on couple occasions as she tried to frustrate Pennington. In the third round, Pennington landed a stiff right hand as she came out more aggressively than the previous two. Holm continued to dominate in the clinches against the fences and landed some better strikes with a sharp left uppercut finding its mark. The judges scored the fight 29-28, 30-27 & 30-27 in favour of Holm. The 38 year old improves to 13-5 and keeps herself on track for another title shot, whilst Rocky Pennington is now 10-8 after the slightly underwhelming performance.
Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone (Welterweight Main Event)
In the main event, Conor McGregor made his return to the Octagon for the first time in since October 2018 as the former simultaneous UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion met the prolific UFC record-breaker Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone in a bout at 170lbs. Conor started off aggressively, throwing a right hand in the first 3 seconds. He managed to damage the nose of Cowboy with a series of heavy shoulder strikes from the clinch. He stunned Cerrone with a high kick to the jaw and followed with a flying knee, attacking with a flurry of shots against the cage. The referee waved off the contest after only 40 seconds as the Vegas crowd went into delirium. The 36 year old Cerrone, a true legend of the sport is now 36-14, 1nc and despite holding the most victories and finishes in UFC history has now lost 3 in a r ow whilst the Notorious one moves to 22-4 and begins his route back to the pinnacle with fights against Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman and a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov looking to be the most entertaining battles to make after this sublimely clinical performance by the former champ-champ.