In the fight game, controversy is king; and in the world of mixed martial arts specifically, there is nobody more controversial than Conor McGregor. Making his first appearance in the octagon in over a year this Saturday night, the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion of the world will take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-13-1 NC) in a welterweight bout in Las Vegas, serving as the main event of the UFC’s first pay per view card of the new year, and decade.
A matchup featuring two fighters who emphasize striking but in far different ways, this contest provides a little bit of everything for everyone in both the fandom and betting realms. On top of that, it gives the promotion a needed boost heading into the 2020s as public interest in the brand fluctuates up and down in McGregor’s absence.
While other proven stars and young champions (Amanda Nunes, Alexander Volkanovski, Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal, Max Holloway, and Henry Cejudo to name a few) have established themselves in recent times, McGregor certainly brings an added element of spectacle to any fight card he is a part of, and Dana White and company will welcome that with open arms.
UFC 246 Main Event
But on top of the stylistic elements (which I will spend plenty of energy on at another time), this matchup works as a kick-starter for the UFC simply due to the two men involved. Cerrone serves as a perfect foil character to McGregor, in more ways than one.
Given that these two have teased going at it even before McGregor hinted jumping from the 145-pound division to 155 back in late 2015, there is a lot of sound bite and video potential in the build up, to say the least.
With the media festivities of the week highlighted by Wednesday’s press conference, many MMA bettors are trying to get action on the two fighters in any way they can with still a half a week to go until the bout itself.
With some very intriguing props now available at BetOnline, let’s take a look at where the real value sits as we handicap not a fight….but a press conference. Let’s dive in.
Any Unique UFC Prop Bets?
Normally, props surround the night of the fight itself, but with such colorful personalities on display here it is actually a brilliant move for a sports betting market to post this type of action.
Some of the fun ones include:
How late will Conor McGregor be to the press conference?
It is well known that “The Notorious” one has a reputation for being notoriously late to press events. In my time in the combat sports media, colleagues and myself have waited for the Dublin native for up to an hour for smaller events like open workouts and local media scrums. Him being at least 10-15 minutes late for the Cowboy presser would not surprise me in the least, and with the mark at 6.5 and the over getting the plus money, this could serve as a valuable prop play.
Total “F-bombs” said by Conor McGregor
While this also plays into McGregor’s reputation, I am leaning the under on this one simply because McGregor will most likely resort to “other words” in his vocabulary as well. If the prop was set as total F-Bombs between the two fighters combined I would bet the over to the moon and back as it (and its many variations) may be Cowboy’s favorite word in the English language. And I am not exaggerating. But if we are just focusing on McGregor, I think this one falls a tad short.
Will Conor McGregor call Donald Cerrone “slow” or “stiff”?
This to me is maybe the biggest steal of them all with the “Yes” priced as a +150 dog. McGregor is always very detailed in explaining why his style will get the best of his opponent and how his opponent’s strengths will be nonexistent in return against him. Pair that factor with one of the main angles in this fight being Cerrone’s age and durability and this one screams out to me as a lock given how its likely to be fueled by questioning reporters at the conference.
Will Conor McGregor reference a Cerrone family member?
These antics got Conor into some serious trouble in his last contest, as the verbal jabs towards Khabib Nurmagomedov’s family, ethnic background, and religious beliefs led to the now-infamous post-fight melee which ended with Nurmagomedov jumping into the crowd to attack McGregor’s training partner Dillon Danis.
Furthermore, Cerrone’s family does not seem like anything even a trash talker like McGregor would approach. Of course it remains possible, but given the circumstances and Cerrone’s place in this narrative, it seems highly unlikely.
Will Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone come in physical contact?
The prices on this one accurately reflects it, especially given how “physical contact” can be defined in many ways. All pre-fight press conferences end with a face-off for fans and the media to capture. This would be the best opportunity for contact to take place, but it is rare for that to happen this early in the week.
While there have been exceptions in the past, most pre-fight contact comes a few days later at weigh ins on the eve before the day of the fight. If the prop were booked for the weigh-in rather than the presser I would feel differently about this one, but with Wednesday’s setting being booked for action, my pick would be that the two avoid physical contact.
Both combatants are known for their affinity for a “cold one” as both have dabbled in the world of alcohol sponsorship. For McGregor, this comes in the form of launching his own brand of whiskey, and it should come to no surprise that the bookies have Proper 12 in mind for Wednesday evening….
Will Conor McGregor hold a proper 12 bottle?
The Bet: Yes (-300)
Will Conor McGregor say “Proper 12”
The Bet: Yes (-1000)
Will Donald Cerrone hold a Budweiser can/bottle?
The Bet: Yes (-140)
All three of these offer little value on the side that seems more likely, so they’re worth a go just based off their chances of happening. Especially if you parlay them with some of the aforementioned plays that could have a bit more of a bang for your buck.