Quijano: The Notorious One returns at UFC 246

Jingo Quijano

TODAY, the biggest star in the UFC makes his return. Whether it will be a triumphant one is still up for grabs.

He will be up against one of the most accomplished fighters in UFC history, “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone.

NOTORIOUS. Circa 2017, Conor McGregor was on the top of the MMA world, the biggest attraction in combat sports. But a couple of run-ins that came afoul of the law which culminated in a bus-attacking incident, netted him a criminal charge and got him stripped of his UFC title.

He returned to the Octagon in 2018 to for his grudge match with Khabib Nurmagomedov only to lose via submission.

But his downward spiral would not end there. He allegedly smashed the phone of a tourist, punched an elderly patron in a bar, not to mention face other allegations of the extra-marital type.

To salvage his career, he needs this one badly.

COWBOY. Cerrone is almost like the anti-McGregor prototype. He doesn’t really adore the limelight and prefers to be low collar, despite his success in the octagon. He’s the type of guy who does a yeoman’s job then quietly rides off into the sunset to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Back in 2016, he almost got the nod as a last minute replacement to fight McGregor but the UFC opted for Nate Diaz.

Today will be the biggest opportunity for him to become a UFC superstar.

MY TAKE. Conor’s last fight in the octagon was back in October of 2018 and his last victory was way back in November 2016 against Eddie Alvarez.

During that period, Cerrone has fought 11 times, with a record of 5-6. In fact, Cerrone has fought so many times, he owns the most victories in UFC history at 23. He also has the most finishes at 16 and knockdowns at 20.

Suspiciously, this has been the main promotional line of the UFC when came to Cerrone, which actually is quite clever and obviously aimed to give him some gravitas coming into this fight.

Conor is clearly the better fighter here and all he has to do is to shake off the ring rust. Of course, I am not counting Cerrone out, but at age 36 and coming off two losses, he might just be the perfect handpicked opponent for Conor to make a tremendous comeback.

Cerrone should not be tempted to limit the fight to a stand-up game because he will get stopped in the early rounds. His only choice is to be patient, defend and hopefully take Conor to the ground in the latter rounds, where the Notorious One is notorious for gassing out.

VERBATIM. “How good do I look at 170? I am coming for all of them in this division. It begins with Donald.”—Conor McGregor.

LAST ROUND. It’s on the energetic and prolific mayor of the Municipality of Pinamungajan who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!