UFC 246 is just around the corner, and the card is tearing the BJPENN.COM team apart.
From the Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone main event, to the Diego Ferreira vs. Anthony Pettis pay-per-view opener, we just can’t seem to agree when it comes to our predictions, and it’s getting ugly.
Insults flying on the BJPENN.COM Slack channel… Brawls at the water cooler… A near-stabbing in the employee restroom when it was suggested Claudia Gadelha will lose to Alexa Grasso…
The insanity has to stop!
In an effort to end the bloodshed and bring peace back to our workplace, we have decided to get everything out in the open; to make our UFC 246 predictions and calmly explain why we’re making them.
Without further ado, here are the UFC 246 fights the BJPENN.COM staff will be predicting.
- Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
- Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington
- Maurice Greene vs. Aleksei Oleinik
- Claudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso
- Diego Ferreira vs. Anthony Pettis
BJPENN.COM Staff Picks: UFC 246 Main Card
Conor McGregor: Despite the layoff, I believe McGregor’s knockout power will be too much for Cowboy to handle. I see McGregor taking out Cerrone in the first round with a vintage knockout.
Holly Holm: We’ve seen Holm and Pennington fight before, and it wasn’t a great fight. I’m not sure why this is the co-main event, but once again I favor Holm to win a decision on points.
Maurice Greene: It’s a striker vs. grappler matchup and I favor Greene to land a big punch on the aging Oleinik and put him out early.
Claudia Gadelha: I expect Gadelha to revert back to her wrestling here and expose Grasso’s takedown defense for a decision win.
Diego Ferreira: I’ve been very impressed with Ferreira’s striking improvements and believe that he will out-volume Pettis en route to winning a decision.
Conor McGregor: I think Conor McGregor is going to beat Donald Cerrone. I believe Cerrone will stand and trade, and McGregor will catch him with a left early and win by TKO/KO in the first or second round.
Holly Holm: I like Holly Holm to get past Raquel Pennington. I think this fight stays standing and she is the better striker and will get the decision win.
Alexey Oleynik: Alexey Oleynik vs. Maurice Greene is the classic striker vs. grappler matchup. Ultimately, I think Oleynik will get the fight to the ground and earn a submission win.
Claudia Gadelha: I believe Claudia Gadelha will get her hand raised as she will use her wrestling to earn a decision win over Alexa Grasso.
Diego Ferreira: Diego Ferreira will have his coming out party at UFC 246 as he will beat Anthony Pettis by decision. I think his volume, pressure and cardio will be the difference-maker.
Donald Cerrone: My instinct from the minute this fight was announced has said that Conor’s timing isn’t going to be what it once was, and that the famous Cerrone head kick would seal the deal — and that’s what I’m sticking with.
Holly Holm: The bizarre “not a title holder but one above a regular contender” space that Holm finds herself in will suit her to a tee until she retires. Pennington is good, but she isn’t going to outwork Holly.
Alexey Oleynik: There are certain heavyweights that will still fall into the trap of being schooled by Oleynik, and I think Maurice Greene is one of them.
Claudia Gadelha: It seems like Gadelha is more focused than she has been in a long time, whereas Grasso just doesn’t seem to have anything in her game that could trouble Gadelha enough to cause any trouble.
Diego Ferreira: Pettis is a warrior and I don’t think he’s going to get finished here, but Ferreira is the dark horse of this division and should have enough to get the job done.
Conor McGregor: With all due respect to Cerrone, a tough veteran of the sport, I can’t see him bringing home the W. McGregor is way too skilled, and with Cowboy wanting to stand-and-bang, I predict the Irishman KOing him.
Holly Holm: Both athletes are not doing well lately as the two of them are stepping into the cage this Saturday with two losses in their last three matches. I see “The Preacher’s Daughter” winning, though, as her skillset is just better.
Maurice Greene: If a non-MMA fan looked at these fighters’ records, it would probably look like a mismatch. Sometimes, though, too many matches could mean too many battles. I predict the freshness of the New York-native will win this heavyweight scrap. If Greene will be able to avoid Oleynik’s ground game, he could finish his shift early.
Claudia Gadelha: Tough fight to predict. Both fighters have some decent scalps on their records, but I’ll pick the more experienced one. Gadelha via decision.
Anthony Pettis: Showtime is coming back to the lightweight division. It seems he can’t find what division is best for him. Ferreira is definitely not an easy matchup for his return to lightweight, but my guts are saying that the former champion will put on a striking clinic and will end the contest inside the limit.
Conor McGregor: I’m taking McGregor because the bout will be on his terms. Call me gullible, but when Cerrone says he’s going to stand-and-bang, I believe him. I also believe co-signing on a gentlemen’s kickboxing agreement won’t end well for him. It will only be a matter of time before McGregor sneaks a left hand through and napalms his chin.
Holly Holm: Give me Holm in the rematch. Her left high kick has shaved more domes than Sweeney Todd. However, she’ll use her footwork and boxing, along with some well-timed clinch work, to eke out a decision win over Pennington. It’s the only path to victory considering Pennington could probably get hit with a 2×4 board and remain standing.
Alexey Oleynik: Oleynik will do his legendary zombie walk before pulling Greene down to the ground and tangling him into submission. Don’t sleep on this 42-year-old’s ability to turn a grown man into a real-life version of Stretch Armstrong.
Claudia Gadelha: Gadelha is walking out of Paradise with a win because she only needs a few takedowns (cardio permitted) to ruin Grasso’s night. Carla Esparza did it last September, and Gadelha has the tools to direct a sequel.
Diego Ferreira: Ferreira will go the grappling route and eventually wear down Pettis in a decision. It’s the right business move in comparison to ending up on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 for getting toe-tagged by one of Pettis’ Taekwondo kicks.
Donald Cerrone: While ‘Cowboy’ has a track record of not performing to the best of his ability in important matchups, he has far more ways to win this fight. Furthermore, isn’t it about time Cerrone wins a fight that propels him into superstardom?
Raquel Pennington: The first fight between Holm and Pennington was very closely contested and resulted in a split decision. Raquel has always displayed her durability in competition and I believe that she can make the adjustments necessary to be victorious in the rematch.
Alexey Oleynik: Ezekiel choke or some other form of crafty strangulation gets it done for this seasoned veteran.
Claudia Gadelha: This matchup is the sleeper for FOTN. Assuming Gadelha has bounced back completely from the injury that forced her out of the fight against Calvillo, the tough-as-nails BJJ world champ comes out on top.
Anthony Pettis: Pettis has alternated wins and losses consistently since the end of 2016. Coming off the loss to Nate Diaz, it’s hard to imagine that trend changing for this matchup. ‘Showtime’ avoids the two-fight skid, gets back in the win column, and puts on a great show for the fans.
Conor McGregor: If I’m betting the house on this fight, I’m betting it on McGregor, but I fully recognize that I might be sleeping in a gutter on Sunday. I’m not confident.
Holly Holm: As Kinch points out, the first fight between Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington was very close. That said, Holm still won, and I don’t think that much as changed since their first meeting. Holm wins again.
Alexey Oleynik: In his 72nd fight, Oleynik will get it done again. At some point, probably early, he’ll pull Greene to the mat and coax out the tap before we even know a submission is being applied.
Claudia Gadelha: I would love to play devil’s advocate and pick Grasso over Gadelha, but Jordy is right. Grasso was just out-wrestled by Carla Esparza. I see no reason to assume she won’t experience the same treatment at the hands of Gadelha.
Anthony Pettis: Call it a feeling. I understand why so many of my colleagues are picking Ferreira, but it’s just hard for me to imagine Pettis losing this one. I think he wins with something flashy.
What are your predictions for the UFC 246 main card?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/17/2020.