UFC 246 is the first pay-per-view event of 2020 and while everyone is focused on the main event, it should not take away from what the rest of the card is bringing. There are a lot of fighters putting it on the line Saturday night and they all deserve their due. However, here are five fights that fans might want to watch.
Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
This goes without saying that McGregor’s return bout against one the UFC’s most experienced fighters on the UFC roster in Cerrone is highly anticipated. The experience edge in Cerrone is only highlighted by his finishes and while he is coming off of two losses in a row, so is McGregor. Outside of the fanfare surrounding “Cowboy” against the UFC’s golden goose in McGregor, both men need a return to the win column and only one of them can walk away as the winner.
Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington
Holm has had a rocky road in the UFC so it is almost tongue in cheek that she faces “Rocky” Pennington at UFC 246. Holm is coming off of a loss to the current bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes and needs a win. Pennington is coming off of a win and another one over Holm could get her into title contention. Holm’s striking has gotten her the title in the past and could be enough to hold off Pennington, but Pennington might have the edge in grappling. These ladies will likely test their MMA evolution at UFC 246.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Maycee Barber
Barber has been talking a lot about climbing to the top of the UFC since she came in from Legacy Fighting Alliance and earned her shot on Dana White’s Contender Series. She will have her hands full with Modafferi who is probably the most experienced grappler she has faced in MMA. Barber has a lot of wins by knockout or TKO along with a strong elbow game when in-fighting. The number seven-ranked Modafferi will likely try to engage there to get it to the ground so this fight should be fun.
Andre Fili vs. Sodiq Yusuff
Another Contender Series standout in Yusuff who has been showing that White made a good choice by giving him a UFC contract back in July of 2018. Counting that win, he has won four in a row and is probably going to have a tough test against Fili. Fili is coming in on a two-fight win streak with the last one being a first-round finish. Both men have something to prove at UFC 246 and will likely want to come into the New Year with a bang when you look at the number of finishes by knockout both men carry.
Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov
Elliott and Askarov are fighting on the early prelims and if fans saw Moreno and Askarov’s last fight and Elliott’s fight against former champ Demetrious Johnson this could be Fight of the Night. However, Askarov’s undefeated record comes with all finishes minus the draw against Moreno. Elliott has a lot of great chokes in his arsenal as does Askarov so these may forego the grappling all together and give the fans a firefight the flyweights have been known to deliver in combat sports.
There will probably be other fights that stand out once the night is through, but these five are the ones that fans can get excited about before UFC 246.
What fight are you most looking forward to?