Beyond the Main Event: Is UFC 246 a Strong Card?

Conor McGregor UFC
Conor McGregor Credit: Jeff Sherwood/

With UFC 246 fast approaching, there has been plenty of criticism of the card that has been assembled underneath McGregor vs. Cerrone.

Measuring the strength of an MMA card can be done in many ways. Is the main event a title fight? Are the fighters in the main event exciting to watch? Is the card filled with seasoned veterans or young blood? It’s hard to predict. What may seem strong or weak on paper could easily be the exact opposite of what you’d expect.

With UFC 246, the main event featuring Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone may simply be a draw for the other fighters to receive some exposure. But then most cards tend to work that way with the exception of some stacked cards for special events. UFC 100 and 200, and any time an MMA promotion premieres in a new country come to mind. The McGregor vs. Cerrone fight will definitely be a huge draw for the card. However, the records and history of these two tell us it should be an exciting bout between two seasoned competitors that know how to finish fights.

What if McGregor/Cerrone is a Flop?

Holly Holm, former Women's Bantamweight Champion
Holly Holm, former Women’s Bantamweight Champion

In the off chance that McGregor vs. Cerrone doesn’t meet expectations, the rest of the UFC 246 card should still hold water. The card is filled with fighters that really know their way around the Octagon. Holly Holm, the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion will square off against Raquel Pennington in the co-main event. Both of whom will be fighting in their 18th professional fight. And 42 year old Aleksei Oleinik, who has an impressive record of 57-13-1, will take on a younger and much larger opponent in Maurice Greene. The fight should naturally go to the mat and contain some serious ground and pound.

The Strength of the Prelims

Maycee barber head kick
Maycee Barber delivers a vicious head kick.

Some of lesser known names on the card include the likes of power-striker Sodiq Yusuff, flaunting finishing moves that would keep championship boxers on their toes. The relative newcomer, Maycee Barber will square off against the veteran, Roxanne Modafferi, in what should be a phenomenal fight between two well-rounded fighters that command control of the ring. And Aleksa Camur, coming into his UFC pay-per-view debut with a fresh 5-0 record. Known for landing shots that stun opponents and a killer instinct that drives him to finish a fight quickly, Aleksa’s bout against Justin Ledet could very well be the highlight of the Early Prelims.

Exposure for these fighters should be enough to push them all to their very best performances. Fight fans know that hungry fighters often come out to kick some ass and put on a great show. The talent on the UFC 246 card should certainly make for an exciting evening and offer fans everything they’d want from a pro MMA event.