UFC 246 ended up being a spectacular event with submissions and knock outs galore. The main card had an unprecedented 3 submissions, which is very unusual for a UFC event and of course we had the triumphant return of one Conor McGregor. All told this was a fun night of fights, lets take a look at the highlights.
I was going to just focus on the main card for this one however Drew Dober really did look fantastic in his preliminary bout against Nasrat Haqparast. He landed a big left hand about a minute into the first knocking Haqparast down to the floor where Dober then overwhelmed his opponent with ground and pound earning him a well-deserved $50k performance of the night bonus.
Carlos Diego Ferreira;
The first fight of the main card saw Ferreira take on Anthony Pettis in what was arguably the toughest test in the career of Ferreira so far. He passed that test with flying colours and never allowed Pettis to get into the fight, he used some very nice clinch work to take the fight to the ground early in the first round while also taking the back of Pettis.
Showtime did get back to his feet and managed to end the round there but when Ferreira took him down again with ease early in the second round it was just a matter of time. Ferreira took the back of Pettis and managed to secure a sort of side rear naked choke that was recorded as a neck crank, either way his squeeze was enough to force the tap and take the biggest win of his career and one of five performance bonuses handed out.
Brian Kelleher forces submission
Brian Kelleher was in a bit of a tough spot, after beating Renan Barao back in 2018 he has been on a two-fight skid. He took on an opponent Ode Osbourne who was making his UFC debut so there was a lot to lose, however Kelleher looked fantastic.
Early in round one the fight went to the ground and in a scramble Kelleher managed to get hold of the neck of Osbourne, initially it looked as though the straight guillotine was the easier option however he managed to get the arm in and at one point was lifting his opponent off the floor by his neck.
Kelleher then fell to his back keeping the choke on tight forcing his opponent to tap with his foot as both of his arms were pinned. Kelleher secured a much needed submission win and was awarded a performance of the night bonus.
Before suffering back to back losses at the hands of Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris the boa constrictor was on something of a tear in the heavyweight division becoming known for his ezekiel choke submission victories.
His opponent Maurice Greene did offer some problems with his range and threatened with striking however Oleinik was able to clinch and secured a very nice takedown straight into side control in round one. He then secured a scarf hold choke and was cranking the neck of his opponent right up until the end of the first round, this was potentially problematic for the Russian heavyweight as his arms were surely exhausted by trying to secure the submission.
Oleinik however managed to secure another takedown in round two from the clinch and this time secured an armbar in a scramble from his back. The leg of Greene was blocking the full extension of the arm for quite some time as Oleinik used what seemed to be the last of his gas tank, he was breathing very heavily yanking on the arm, it was only when he managed to shift the leg of Greene that he extended the arm and secured the 46th submission of his career and a $50k performance bonus.
Coming into this fight there were a lot of questions to be answered regarding the Irish mans commitment to continuing in the sport and just how focused he would be coming into this bout. All of those questions were answered when Conor managed to finish Cowboy in emphatic fashion just 40 seconds into the very first round.
Historically Cerrone has always been a slow starter and Conor did a great job in not allowing him to get out of first gear. Conor threw a big left hand as he lunged in as the round began, Cerrone avoided the punch but the pair then clinched and Conor managed to use his shoulder as a weapon, smashing his shoulder into the face of Cowboy messing up his nose and rattling the UFC veteran.
Cerrone tried to get some offence going throwing out a head kick that was blocked by the Irishman. Conor then returned with a head kick of his own that stunned Cerrone, followed up by several left hands and some more strikes as he stood over a slumped Cowboy the referee had seen enough and called of the fight. Contrary to my personal prediction in my article last week this was a great performance from McGregor and a real return to form; the king certainly appears to be back.
Fight times and bonus stats taken from Wikipedia.