Conor McGregor returned to action with a vicious beat-down of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in under a minute at UFC 246, in his first mixed martial arts fight since losing a lightweight title bout to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
This is a quick breakdown analyzing the series of techniques that helped the Irishman to get his hand raised.
So let’s get started.
Conor McGregor knew that Donald Cerrone is a very slow starter so he decided to bring the fight to him from the first second of the fight.
McGregor attacked with a lead left hand and Cowboy either tried to duck under or go for a takedown. On the way down, he was hit by Conor’s left knee which was either a knee attack attempt by McGregor or the result of him stepping in. In photo 5 you can see Cowboy touching his left eye as he was probably hurt.
Cowboy stood up and kept an underhook.
In the following position Cerrone was probably rocked or confused as he used very poor technique. Although he maintained a soft underhook, he let Conor get head control (photo 2) by pressing his forehead on Donald’s jaw.
Instead of fighting with his right hand to get a right underhook, a neck tie or to use his elbow to push Conor’s head away, Cerrone stayed in this position trying to recover. In photo 8 above you can see that Conor used his overhook to push Donald’s hip away. Cowboy’s head was exposed and McGregor hit him with a series of vicious left shoulder bumps and a left knee that rocked Cerrone.
The two fighters disengaged.
In this last sequence, Cowboy threw a right kick and Mcgregor followed with a left of his own that hurt Cerrone bad. You can see in photo 4 that Cerrone instinctively tried to defend a left kick to the body.
Conor stepped-in with a flying knee and punches and finished the fight.
As I noted in the kicking section of McGregor’s technical breakdown and as you can see in the two sequences below (photos 2 and 5) Conor launches his left round high kick in a motion similar to that of his front snap kicks. This keeps opponents guessing.
This was an exciting and impressive performance by the Irishman.
For a list of the author’s previous technique breakdowns on Bloody Elbow, check out this link.
About the Author: Kostas Fantaousakis is a researcher of fighting concepts, tactics, and techniques, and a state-certified MMA, grappling, and wrestling coach in Greece. He teaches his unique Speedforce MMA mittwork system © which combines strikes, takedowns, knees, and elbows applied in the Continuous Feedback © mittwork system of the Mayweather family. Kostas is a black belt in BJJ under MMA veteran and BJJ world champion Wander Braga (the teacher of Gabriel Napao Gonzaga).