UFC 246: Three Takeaways From Saturday Night

Carlos Diego Ferreira UFC 246
Carlos Diego Ferreira Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Conor McGregor is back, but that’s not the only thing that happened Saturday night. Here are three takeaways from the UFC 246 card.

Conor McGregor needed only 40 seconds to dispatch of Cowboy Cerrone at UFC 246. The former dual-weight champion won his first fight in almost four years, earning a post-fight bonus in the process. However, McGregor was not the only fight on the card, as there were many outstanding performances from the likes of Roxanne Modafferi, Brian Kelleher, and Diego Ferreira.

Here are three takeaways from UFC 246.

Conor McGregor is still an amazing fighter.

In the legendary words of Roy Jones Jr, “Y’all must’ve forgot.”

In the lead-up to Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone, there was mixed fan reception. Some were saying that Conor was ducking the likes of Justin Gaethje, with others saying that Cerrone is a tough fight to come back to. Conor McGregor hadn’t won a fight in almost four years by the time UFC 246 took place, with his last win coming over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in 2016. While he did have two fights, against Floyd Mayweather in Boxing, and Khabib Nurmagomedov, since then, it’s still been a long time since we’ve seen Conor McGregor win.

There were many upset picks in the days leading up to Saturday night, even celebrities such as Dave Bautista who was sitting cageside picked Donald Cerrone to upset McGregor. Instead, Conor McGregor put on arguably the finest performance of his career, even showing new wrinkles in his game with shoulder strikes, and finishing Cowboy Cerrone in 40 seconds. Almost four years without a win, and he needed only 40 seconds to finish the UFC’s win-leader.

It was easy to forget how good McGregor is. And to be fair, for all we knew he was completely shot or was going to look rusty. Instead, he performed like he never even left. Conor McGregor is still an amazing fighter, and it’ll be interesting to see who he fights next. But the arguement that McGregor is too small for welterweight doesn’t seem that certain now. Despite Dana White wanting McGregor to go back down, it seems Conor’s current home could be at 170.

Yes, Maycee Barber lost, no her career isn’t over.

MMA fans and pundits are some of the most ruthless in sports. As Maycee Barber was busy being dominated by Roxanne Modafferi in their prelim bout, many were taking the time to celebrate the loss and declare that the hype train is now over and done with. Barber has been a bit of a controversial figure with fans, ever since declaring that she would be the youngest UFC champion ever. Not to mention not exactly being the nicest to her competition along the way.

So when Modafferi upset Barber, there was much celebration online by fans and fighters alike. However, just because she lost a fight in which she potentially tore her ACL and could barely walk, her career isn’t over. Maycee Barber is still an excellent fighter and great prospect, and only being 21 years old and a ranked UFC fighter is an accomplishment in its own right. Roxanne Modafferi has been around in MMA for longer than Barber has been alive, ergo a loss to someone of her caliber isn’t the end of her career.

It’ll be interesting to see how Barber heals up, and how long it takes her. Her quest to become the youngest UFC champion has certainly taken a bit of a hit, as she’ll likely be on the shelf for a while with the injury itself. It’s also likely to lead to stepping back in competition, which isn’t a bad thing. To go from fighting an unranked Gillian Robertson to facing a former title challenger in Modafferi was quite the leap, and it appeared to be too much, too soon.

But given the headliner of the UFC 246 card, Conor McGregor, started off 4-2, it’s far too early to call her career a wrap just yet.

Diego Ferreira, lightweight’s most overlooked man.

Diego Ferreira hasn’t lost in almost five years. Heading into UFC 246 many were questioning the decision to have an unranked Ferreira taking on former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis on the main card opener. Ferreira is not a name known by many casual fans, and Pettis was on a Wheaties box. He was coming off one of the biggest fights of 2019 against Nate Diaz in the UFC 241 co-main event.

Despite this, Ferreira showed exactly why he’s looked at as a dark horse in the UFC’s lightweight division. Not giving Pettis a chance to breathe, staying on him the entire fight and not giving him any space to throw anything. Taking him down in the second to get the rear-naked-choke finish, becoming the second-ever man to submit “Showtime” along the way. The win was the sixth in a row for Ferreira, defeating names such as Mairbek Taisumov and Olivier Aubin-Mercier along the way, as well as Pettis.

If Diego Ferreira isn’t in the top ten when the rankings come out, that’ll be a crime. His style and skill-set is a challenge for anyone at the top, and he absolutely deserves a big fight next. Putting him against a ranked fighter on the main card of UFC 250 in Brazil seems like it makes a lot of sense.

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