McGregor vs Cerrone: Conor McGregor team-mates give insight into UFC 246 training camp

Conor McGregor’s return to the UFC will soon be upon us. The Irishman will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon early on Sunday morning in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas.

McGregor will be welcomed back to the Octagon by fellow fan favourite and a fighter even the most casual of mixed martial arts fan will know, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

McGregor and Cerrone’s clash, which has been well over four fears in the making, will take place in the UFC’s welterweight division – a weight class neither man is a stranger to.

The setting for McGregor’s return has raised plenty of questions, with many concerned over his cardiovascular endurance in the 170lb division.

McGregor looks to be in phenomenal shape ahead of his return to the welterweight division – the weight class in which his back-to-back fights with Nate Diaz took place in – and ready to go five rounds.

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I reckon he’s going to knock him out in about one minute flat

Kiefer Crosbie’s prediction for Conor McGregor’s clash with Donald Cerrone

Over the last few weeks, Express Sport caught up with several of Mystic Mac’s team-mates in the build-up to the fight to get the inside track on his training sessions and their predictions for his clash with ‘Cowboy’ – all of which you can see below.

Kiefer Crosbie

I reckon he’s going to knock him out in about one minute flat. I’ve never seen him so good. Everyone knows he’s an amazing fighter and everyone knows how dangerous he is. I think this time around, he’s just super laser-focused and I think it will be one of his most impressive fights of all time. That’s what I believe. 

I think you get to a certain point where the weight just doesn’t matter. I used to be 100kg and used to spar people that where heavyweights. I’ve also sparred middleweights and I’ve never been hit harder in my entire life than I have been by Conor.

“So I really don’t think weight classes matter with him. I think once he lands any shot on your chin, I don’t care what weight you are or how big you are or how tough you are, you’re going to know all about it.

He’s an animal and he’s the original champ-champ. Let’s not take that away from him. I think people are quick to forget how great someone can be. And I think he’s one of the greatest of all time. On January 18, he’s going to redeem himself and remark his territory.” 

Peter Queally

First of all, it’s a very bad match-up for Donald. Just stylistically. I think he struggles with southpaws and he struggles with really fast starters, which Conor is. And also I just feel Conor is going to be back with a vengeance, from what I can see. So I do believe it’s going to be a KO. And it’s going to be a KO in the first round. 

He’s looking fine and he’s looking good. He’s done this before. He did this for the Nate Diaz fight. And he looked great in that camp. In the Diaz camp, he looked absolutely amazing when there was no weight cut. Everyone does. Whenever you don’t have to cut weight, it just benefits your training so much more. 100 per cent of your effort goes into training.

“Whereas normally, it could be 80 or 90 per cent of your effort is going into training as some of your energy is getting drained from that weight cut. So he’s been looking fantastic. And as I said, one of the best camps I ever saw him put in was for Diaz when it was at welterweight.  

History is the greatest predictor or the future, as they say. And I think this is going to be a great camp and a great fight for him as well. And so far, it looks like it’s a great camp. 

I think the welterweight matchup isn’t going to much of a difference because Donald is actually a lightweight as well. So I don’t think that’s really going to play a part either.

I think they’re going to be a similar size in the ring. I don’t think it’s going to have too much of a bearing on the fight. Except that the two of them will be able to enjoy their Christmas a bit more and eat a bit more and probably put on a good fight because of it.

But to answer your question, he’s looking good. In his last camp he did at welterweight, it was one of the best camps I’ve ever seen him in. So I have high hopes for this one. 

James Gallagher 

Conor knocks him out in about 40 seconds. 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. 

Makwan Amirkhani

KO first round That is what we will see.

I think he has learned from mistakes. He is young, also, so it’s normal to do mistakes.

But the most important is that you learn from your mistakes. And I think that he knows the only thing that makes him happy is the sport and the UFC. And that’s what’s good for him.

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