Hello, and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of UFC 246: McGregor vs Cowboy. The promotion’s first pay-per-view card of 2020 marked the long-awaited return of former two-division champion Conor McGregor, who locked horns with Donald Cerrone in a welterweight match-up..
- McGregor, 31, returned to the Octagon for the first time since losing his UFC 229 grudge match with Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018 to stop ‘Cowboy’ in 40 seconds.
- In the co-main event of the evening, former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm took on Raquel Pennington.
- Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis was also in action, throwing down with Brazil’s Diego Ferreira.
- Follow all the live action and reaction to McGregor’s stunning first-round victory below.
- Express Sport is reporting live from Las Vegas in association with Ohmbet UK – for the latest UFC 246 fight and odds click go here.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 12:54pm – So who got the bonuses?
Performances of the Night:
Drew Dober, Diego Ferreira, Brian Kelleher, Aleski Oleinik and Conor McGregor
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 12:29pm – So when will Conor McGregor be back in action?
Given the fact he took absolutely zero punishment, McGregor could return to action in March – though it’s highly unlikely that’ll happen.
I, along with many others, believe his second outing 2020 will headline International Fight Week in July and will see him face off against either Jorge Masvidal or rematch Nate Diaz.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 12:00pm – What did Conor McGregor say about Donald Cerrone in the post-fight press conference?
Unsurprisingly, McGregor was full of praise for Cerrone, saying: “What a phenomenal legacy Donald Cerrone has. It was an honour to share the octagon with that man. I mean that.
“I’ve shared the octagon with some great UFC fighters. And Donald is up there with the best of them all.
“So I’m very, very proud to have shared the octagon with him.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: A jubliant Conor McGregor celebrates his stoppage win over Donald Cerrone
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 11:32am – More from Dana White on a possible rematch between Khabbib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor
“We’re looking at Hagler-Hearns,” White said. “We’re looking at like Ali-Foreman, Ali-Frazier. This is a massive fight with global appeal. It’s the fight you make, it’s the fight that makes sense. It’s for the 155-pound title.
“If Conor and Masvidal fight, neither one of them even has a title. Although Conor does want his BMF title. He doesn’t have a world championship. So Khabib is the fight to make.
“It’s huge for Khabib’s legacy, too. If he beat Conor McGregor, then he beats Tony Ferguson, then he beats Conor McGregor again, I mean this is how this kid, when he retires, he’s 30-something-and-oh and he’s beaten all of the best.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 10:50am – What a prediction from the Strabanimal!
Back in November, I asked Conor McGregor’s team-mate James Gallagher to predict the outcome of this morning’s fight. And to say he was bang on the money would be an understatement.
“Conor knocks him out in about 40 seconds,” Gallagher told Express Sport. “Easy fight. It’s a bad stylistic match-up for ‘Cowboy’. A slow starter against one of the fastest starters and hardest-hitting fighters in the UFC.
“I’ll not say the roster or the whole division, because the fact of the matter is he’s the hardest-hitting fighter in the whole of the UFC. A retirement plan for ‘Cowboy’. This will be his last one. Get the money man, step in against him and take your loss and go enjoy your life.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 10:14am – Off-camera message from Coach Kavanagh
As Team McGregor made their way back to the dressing room, head coach John Kavanagh was quick to remind the media sat in the front row that we’d see a new-and-improved version of ‘The Notorious.’
“I told you all,” McGregor’s mentor and long-time coach said. “I told you all. Best version ever.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 09:53am – A potential Khabib Nurmagomedov rematch roadblock
UFC president Dana White may be open to giving Conor McGregor a short-notice rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov if Tony Ferguson falls out of the UFC 249 main event, but the lightweight champion’s manager Ali Abdelaziz is adamant he won’t take the fight.
He told Express Sport: “Khabib said he’s not going to fight in Vegas, he hasn’t fought in Vegas.
“He said he’s not fighting Conor and he has to take a fight – believe me, he’s going to stick to his word. I don’t think anybody can change what Khabib said. Even if you were to pay him $100million (£76million), I don’t think he’d fight Conor.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Conor McGregor celebrates with the Irish flag
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 09:10am – Who’s next for Conor McGregor?
The mixed martial arts world is currently at Conor McGregor’s feet. But who will he fight next?
There are five men in line to face the Irishman next, all of whom would gladly be his opponent for the second fight of his 2020 season. Click the link below to which fighters are likely to face ‘The Notorious’ next.
Conor McGregor next fight: The five men next in line for Notorious
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 09:00am – Floyd Mayweather throws his hat into the ring
Floyd Mayweather has revealed his eagerness to rematch Conor McGregor – calling out the former champion with a mock-up fight poster on Instagram.
McGregor, of course, suffered a tenth-round TKO loss to the former four-weight champion in August 2017.
That fight brought him the biggest payday of his combat sports career. So there’s no doubt he might be tempted to jump back into the squared circle.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Conor McGregor has been called out by Floyd Mayweather
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 8:40am – What’s Conor McGregor’s thoughts on a clash with Jorge Masvidal?
Masvidal was cageside for McGregor’s stunning victory and even sent a message to the Irishman by wearing exactly the same Versace bathrobe the former champion wore before his open workout ahead of his clash with Floyd Mayweather.
When asked a bout a potential showdown with ‘Gamebred, he said: “There’s a load of opponents, there’s still work to be done for me. I’ve built a foundation again, I can sustain my workload.
“I don’t know what the robe was about. Was it my robe? It was ridiculous. I don’t know what that was about. It was a bit weird. Yeah whatever. No problem [I’ll fight Masvidal], we can do that. He’s trying to get my attention. The grannies in Ireland wear housecoats watching soaps.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 08:32am – Nate Diaz goes off
It seems that Nate Diaz wasn’t impressed with Conor McGregor’s display against Donald Cerrone. He tweeted: “Weak as f**k.”
Diaz then turned his attention to Jorge Masvidal, saying: “And why the f**k u in a robe Smh.”
The Stockton native then shifted his focus back to McGregor, saying: “This s**ts alll fake.”
McGregor vs Cerrone Live: Conor McGregor scored a stunning TKO win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 08:15am Conor McGregor has left the building
That’s a wrap for the post-fight press conference as Conor McGregor has left the building – but that doesn’t mean the end our coverage of this morning’s coverage. Stay tuned or the latest updates and developments from the T-Mobile Arena.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 07:46am – McGregor discusses a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather
“That rematch will happen.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Conor McGregor now has wins in three weight classes
McGregor vs Cowboy – Live – 07:38am – Conor discusses his next move.
“I don’t think the who matters. Okay, the lightweight title will be there. It will be there. You see the difference in the physique. That shot will come back around.”
He added: “The who doesn’t matter for me, now. I’m just looking at the calendar now.”
McGregor vs Cowboy – Live – 07:34am – Conor has arrived
Conor McGregor is here and in a jovial mood.
On landing a head kick on Cerrone, Conor said: “I knew Donald has the most head kicks in UFC history. That’s the equivalent of a world title to me.”
“The high kick was something I thought I could catch him with.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Conor McGregor finishes Donald Cerrone
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 07:22am – We await Conor McGregor’s arrival
Co-main event winner Holly Holm is currently addressing the media. McGregor shouldn’t be too far behind her.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 07:07am – Dana White on a potential fight between Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor
“Yeah, big,” White said. “Conor McGregor and this guy with the camera is a big fight.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 07:00am – Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor II in Moscow KO’d by Dana White
White said: “Nope. It ain’t happening in Moscow.”
He added: “Why do you think it’s not going to happen in Moscow. There’s many, many reasons it’s not going to happen in Moscow.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Conor McGregor celebrates picking up his first win over three years
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 06:54am – Dana White reveals who he’d prefer to see Conor McGregor fight next
He said: “Khabib is the fight to make.”
The UFC chief added: “I’m telling you right now: Khabib vs Conor is the biggest fight in the sport’s history.”
“Conor wants that belt back. He’s going to fight whoever he wins.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 06:40am – Dana White is here at the post-fight press conference and he’s full of praise for Conor McGregor
He said: “I was blown away. He looked unbelievable. You won’t hear another peep out of me about him fighting at 170[lbs]”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Conor McGregor lands a beautiful head kick on Donald Cerrone
McGregor vs Cowboy – Live – 06:20 – Donald Cerrone transported to hospital
As a precaution, the UFC have sent ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone to the hospital to undergo some scans.
He appeared to have a broken nose and damage to his orbital bone – which could very well have come from the vicious knee McGregor landed on him before closing the show.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 06:00 – A huge win for McGregor
Make no mistake about it, Conor McGregor’s UFC career was at stake here. Defeat to Cerrone would’ve been catastrophic for his hopes of redemption against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But the Irishman rose to the occasion and showed the world he’s still a force to be reckoned with.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Donald Cerrone was sent to the hospital following his TKO loss to McGregor
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 05:37am – More from Conor
“I’m so happy. UFC can strip fighters and give fighters make believe belts but they can’t take away knockout finishes.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 05:30 – McGregor is over the moon
“I’m the first fighter in UFC history to secure a knockout victory at featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. I’m very, very happy. I’m very proud.”
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: An emotional Conor McGregor celebrates his UFC 246 win over Donald Cerrone
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 05:26am – It’s over! Conor McGregor is back.
McGregor stops Donald Cerrone with a beautiful head kick before finishing him off with ground and pound. What a finish from ‘The Notorious’. He’s back, folks.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 05:25am – Here we go
Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone are in the cage. Let’s hope this one lives up to the hype.
I can’t wait.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 05:12am – Cerrone’s family head to their seats
The Cerrone’s are making their way to their cageside seats. And in homage to his father, young Dacson is wearing a cowboy hat.
Dacson has been a major good luck charm for his dad when he’s been cageside. Let’s see if his presence will help his dad hand ‘The Notorious’ his second loss in a row.
McGregor vs Cowboy live – 05:00am – The less said about that, the better
I never want to disrespect fighters who put their lives at risk for our entertainment, but that fight well and truly sucked the energy out of the building.
Don’t get me wrong, Holm did everything she needed to do to get the win. But this was a far cry from the entertaining bouts we’ve become accustomed to seeing her in.
The 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 scorecards weren’t a surprise as ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ dominated Pennington with her grappling, clinch work against the cage and striking – although there was very little of that.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 04:51am – The Gypsy King is in the building
He said he’d turn up to watch ‘The Notorious’ fight, and Tyson Fury has made good on his vow to take in the first UFC event of the year in person.
Fury can be seen below sat behind McGregor’s long-time girlfriend Dee Devlin. Fury’s teased a move into the MMA world in recent months, so could he be getting a feel for what it’s like to compete in the Octagon by taking in the fights in person?
Only time will tell, folks.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Tyson Fury poses for the camera
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 04:45am – Cowboy’s grandma is cageside
Donald Cerrone’s ever-present grandmother is cageside for the biggest fight of her grandson’s 16-year-long career.
No pressure to come up with the goods, Donald.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 04:40am – Co-main event time
Up next is a women’s bantamweight bout between former champion Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington – a rematch which has been five years in the making.
Holm edged their first meeting at UFC 184 via split decision and will be hoping to score a more decisive victory second time around to kick start a run to rematch with reigning 135lb queen Amanda Nunes.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 04:20am – The Boa Constrictor strikes again
Alexei Oleinik has picked up yet another submission victory, tapping the highly-touted Maurice Green with a second-round armbar.
Green’s defeat is the fourth suffered by prospects on the card – not what the UFC brass would’ve hoped for when they matched them up.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 04:10am – Heavyweights are on deck
The sole heavyweight bout of the evening is about to take place, with Maurice Green taking on the ‘Boa constrictor’ Alexei Oleinik.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Maurice Green attempts a triangle choke from off his back
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 04:00am – The Mac is back
Conor McGregor has just appeared on the big screen. And, unsurprisingly, his appearance on the big screen is met by a wall of cheers.
Interestingly enough, though, they weren’t as loud as when Jorge Masvidal appeared on screen.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 03:55am – Another prospect bites the dust
Yet another potential star has fallen by the wayside tonight. Brian Kelleher derailed the Ode Osbourne hype train emphatically tonight, submitting the Milwaukee-situated fighter via a first-round guillotine.
Onwards and upwards for ‘Boom’, who has well and truly saved his bacon by submitting the Dana White Contenders’ Series alumni.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Brian Kelleher celebrates his huge win over Ode Osbourne
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 03:46am – NFL royalty is in the building
NFL legend Tom Brady is in the building, folks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Conor McGregor attracts all the big names to his fights.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 03:36am – We move to the bantamweight division
Up next is a 135lb bout between Brian Kelleher and Ode Osbourne – which was bumped up to the main card following the cancellation of Claudia Gadelha vs Alexa Grasso.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 03:31am – It’s over
Diego Ferreira has just picked up the biggest victory of his career, submitting former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis with a second-round neck crank
The biggest victory by far of the Brazilian’s career, who has well and truly announced himself as a player in the 155lb division.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 03:28am – Ferreira sets the pace in the first
It seems that Diego Ferreira has decided to take a page of Nate Diaz’s book for this fight, pressuring Pettis from the outset and crowding him out so he can’t use his trademark kicks.
He definitely took the first round, but he seems absolutely exhausted on his stool. Let’s see if Pettis can capitalise in the second.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 03:10am – Here we go, folks.
The pay-per-view portion of UFC 246 is just moments away. Kicking off proceedings will be a lightweight bout between former 155lb champion Anthony Pettis and Brazil’s Diego Ferreira.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 03:00am – The veteran picks up a huge upset victory
Roxanne Modafferi has just ended Maycee Barber’s unbeaten run, dominating the prospect for three straight rounds and leaving her a bloodied mess,
A huge performance for the WMMA pioneer – who received a pop after it was announced she won the fight 30-27, 30-27, 30-26.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 02:50am – Barber with it all to do in the third
Maycee Barber is in serious danger of losing her unbeaten record. It seems that veteran Modafferi didn’t read the script that she’s supposed to lose this fight – putting on her best performance in many a year.
Barber needs to do something massive – maybe even get a stoppage – to win this fight.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 02:45am – Not the round we expected
I, for one, didn’t foresee Modafferi having the success she did in the first stanza. But I think she surprised everybody by taking Barber down and having her way – baring a few submission attempts – with her.
Barber has some work to do in the second.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Roxanne Modafferi lands a st
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 02:36 – Another prospect takes to the cage
We return to the women’s flyweight division now for a bout between surging prospect Maycee Barber and women’s MMA pioneer Roxanne Modafferi.
This seems to be the UFC teeing Barber up for an emphatic victory on the final preliminary event – which they no doubt want in order to boost her future star power.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 02:24am – Yusuff gets the win
The ‘Super’ Sodiq Yusuff steam train keeps on rolling, with the Nigerian edging the contest via unanimous.
The surging prospect’s work in the first and second rounds was enough to negate Fili’s pressure in the third – with the judges scoring the fight 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Sodiq Yusuff celebrates his win over Andre Fili
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 02:16am – Super begins to take over
Yusuff well and truly stamped his authority in the second round, in which he sent Fili to the canvas with a heavy counter leg kick.
He was relenting from that point, constantly peppering ‘Touchy’ with punches and knees from side half guard and side control.
Although he managed to get back to his feet and ended the round pressing Yusuff against the cage, Fili is going to need something big in the third if he’s going to come away with the victory.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 02:10 – A super close round
The first stanza was certainly a difficult one to call. Both men had their moments, with Yusuff landing heavy, heavy punches early doors.
Fili, to his credit, weathered the storm and came back in the second half of the stanza – though he did come dangerously close to being submitted with a kimura.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Andre Fili and Sodiq Yusuff face off at the ceremonial weigh-ins
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 02:00 – Fight of the Night alert, folks. I repeat, Fight of the Night alert.
We are moments away from an absolute barnburner in the men’s flyweight division, which will see Team Alpha Male product Andre Fili take on rising prospect Sodiq Yusuff.
Other than McGregor vs Cowboy, this is the fight I’m looking forward to the most tonight. Let’s just hope it delivers.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 01:50 – What a fight, folks!
To say Elliot rose to the occasion in the third would be somewhat of an understatement. The former title challenger was like a man possessed following the restart, walking Askarov down with no regard to his safety.
With each passing minute, Elliot took the Dagestani into deeper and deeper water – forcing his foe to attempt to take the fight to the ground multiple times.
Elliot stood firm, though, and but was stunning not awarded the victory, suffering a unanimous decision defeat courtesy of 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 scorecards.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 01:45am – Elliot comes back strong
Elliot makes the wise decision at the start of the second to avoid striking with Askarov, instead opting to grapple and utilise his judo.
And he had great success doing so, hip tossing Askarov on his head twice and keeping him on his back for the majority of the round.
All to play for in round three.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Tim Elliot goads Askar Askarov
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 01:37am – Round one to Askarov
Askarov asserts his dominance early with a clean display of striking, rocking Elliot with a big right hook and sending him to the canvas.
The Dagestan native, however, let Elliot off the hook when he went in for the kill by needlessly allowing himself to get tied up into his guard.
Let’s see if Elliot can survive round two.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 01:22am – The flyweights are on deck
Up next is a men’s flyweight bout between Tim Elliot and Askar Askarov.
For those of you unfamiliar with, Elliot – who has been sporting a spiffing mullet all week – he challenged ONE Championship’s Demetrious Johnson for the 125lb crown three years ago.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 01:12 am – It’s over!
Drew Dober scores the first knockout victory of the night, stopping Nasrat Haqparast inside the first round.
Dober snapped Haqparast’s three-fight win streak with a nasty straight left and some vicious ground-and-pound. For me, that was a very, very late stoppage from the ref.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 01:07am – We move to the lightweight division
Up next is a lightweight bout between Drew Dober and Nasrat Haqparast.
Haqparast has been in good form of late, winning his last three in a row – with the last of his victories being a thrilling second-round knockout victory over Joaquim Silva in August.
This should be a good one, folks.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Drew Dober stopped Nasrat Haqparast in emphatic fashion
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 01:00am – Camur gets the win
A surprising verdict, in my opinion. I thought Ledet’s pressure and the heavy shots he landed in the first two stanzas would be enough to get him the victory.
The judges, however, must have appreciated the counters Camur was landing in the last round-and-half to have awarded him a unanimous decision – which they handed him courtesy of 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 scorecards.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 00:57am – We got to the judges scorecards
Ledet vs Camur goes the distance. A thoroughly enthralling fight, with both men giving their all and not wilting under the pressure.
Let’s see how the judges score this.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Aleksa Camur lands a right hand on Justin Ledet
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 00:53 – A close one to call so far
Both men have had their moments in this contest, though neither of them have been able to capitalise on them and stamp their authority.
If I had to award the bout right now, I’d give it to Ledet as he’s landed the harder more effective strikes.
Not only that, he’s landed several beautiful counter strikes – much to the frustration of Camur.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 00:38 – We move to the light-heavyweight division
Justin Ledet and Dana White Contenders’ Series alumni Aleksa Camur have just entered the Octagon.
This is one of the fights I earmarked as a contender for fight of the night. So let’s see if my prediction comes true.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Sabina Mazo and JJ Aldrich exchange jabs
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 00:21 – Our first result is in the books
Sabina Mazo picks up the first victory of the night, defeating a game JJ Aldrich via split decision.
The Colombian’s clinch work and kicks in the second round proved to be the tipping for the judges, who scored the bout 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 in her favour.
The only down side for Mazo will be that she’ll have 20 per cent of her purse deducted as she came in 0.24lbs over the 125lbs limit.
McGregor vs Cowboy Live – 00:20am – Here we go
UFC 246: McGregor vs Cowboy is officially underway, folks. Kick-starting the first pay-per-view card of the year is a women’s flyweight bout between Sabina Mazo and JJ Aldrich. We’re just entering the third round of this 125lb bout, which is a thoroughly enthralling one so far.
I have it one round a piece, so it’s all to play for in the third stanza.
McGregor vs Cerrone Live: Conor McGregor looks on during the UFRC 244 ceremonial weigh-ins
McGregor vs Cowboy LIVE odds (Courtesy of Ohmbet)
Conor McGregor 2/7
Donald Cerrone 13/5
Who Wins by Finish? Decision = Return
Conor McGregor 23/100
Donald Cerrone 3/1
Who Wins by Decision? Finish = Return
Conor McGregor 4/5
Donald Cerrone 20/21
McGregor vs Cowboy Live: Conor McGregor faces Donald Cerrone in a welterweight match-up
McGregor vs Cowboy fight card
Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone – welterweight bout
Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington – women’s bantamweight bout
Maurice Greene vs Aleksei Oleinik – heavyweight bout
Diego Ferreira vs Anthony Pettis – lightweight bout
Brian Kelleher vs Ode Osbourne – men’s bantamweight bout
Maycee Barber vs Roxanne Modafferi – women’s flyweight bout
Andre Fili vs Sodiq Yusuff – men’s featherweight bout
Drew Dober vs Nasrat Haqparast – lightweight bout
JJ Aldrich vs Sabina Mazo – Aldrich – women’s flyweight bout
Askar Askarov vs Tim Elliott – men’s flyweight bout
Aleksa Camur vs Justin Ledet – light-heavyweight bout