Jorge Masvidal has recently been linked to a blockbuster battle with Conor McGregor. Before this fight can happen, however, McGregor will need to get past former Masvidal victim Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who he’ll meet in the main event of UFC 246 on January 18.
So, does Masvidal believe McGregor can get the job done and open the door to their potential superfight? Well, that depends.
He says he favors McGregor early, but believes things could start going Cerrone’s way the longer the fight goes — particularly if the American leans on his grappling skill.
“It can go many ways,” Masvidal told ESPN on Monday (h/t MMA Junkie). “Conor is great off the block. He’s phenomenal off the start. Cowboy is a slow starter. Conor has tremendous speed and timing in the beginning, good power, so I think he can catch him early.
“If Cowboy comes out to grapple like he has in the past with decent strikers and even good grapplers like Rick Story, who he was able to take down and create a lot of offense like that … if that Cowboy comes out, he can mix things up real nice. And then he can start to flow and get into his game of high kicks and punching and being tricky, like a dual threat to Conor.”
While Masvidal acknowledges that Cerrone has some viable routes to victory, he seems to be leaning toward an early McGregor win—particularly if Cerrone elects to strike with the Irishman, as he’s suggested he will.
“If (Cerrone) just comes out to fight it out, I see Conor winning within the first two rounds.”
Do you think Conor McGregor will defeat Donald Cerrone at UFC 246? If he does, do you think he’ll fight Jorge Masvidal next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/7/2020.