There seemed to be a consensus among pundits and analysts heading into UFC 246 ’s headline event: Conor “The Notorious” McGregor was a slight favourite to win, but the longer the fight went on and flirted its way into the championship rounds, the more it would favour underdog Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Apparently McGregor was listening as he made sure that never happened at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. When it comes to the actual fight, there isn’t much actual analysis one can draw from what ended up being a short ending to a long build-up. McGregor came out flying, trying to land a long left hand, and seemed to catch Cerrone on the nose with a few shoulders while they were grappling. McGregor then landed a leg kick to Cerrone’s face, and it was pretty clear referee Herb Dean was going to give Cerrone every chance to try and continue, but it was not so. Forty seconds in, it was all over and now we let the trash-talking begin as McGregor said he would take on any one of the “mouthy fools” in the audience. McGregor, 31, fighting at 170 pounds had everyone remarking at the bulk he’d put on his wide-shouldered frame , but the real question remained, was he ready to take punishing, heavier shots from a fellow 170-pound fighter? It’s one thing to cut a large amount of weight to move down a class, but moving up a division is an entirely different beast. He may have given us an answer in pummelling Cerrone, that a bigger, meatier McGregor is just as scary. Cerrone, 36, was tough to get a read on before UFC 246, he seemed almost happy to be there, to be collecting the biggest paycheque of his life, surely solidifying his financial future and giving himself the opportunity to walk into retirement comfortably. In the UFC’s preview videos leading up to the tilt, he was seen playing with paintball guns, snowmobiling, motorbikes and hanging with his family, friends and infant son in between what looked like leisurely training sessions out in New Mexico. You have to feel for the guy, he got dummied, but remains a class act within the MMA world. UFC 246: McGregor TKOs ‘Cowboy’ in 40 seconds Cerrone’s mentality is one of old school, blue collar America: I will show up and give you everything that I got, day in, day out, 24-7, 365 days a year. When it comes to X-Factors, this is a formidable one, but McGregor also has a deeply rooted one: I want to be the best MMA fighter in history. These two ideologies went toe-to-toe and McGregor has proven he comes out firing on all cylinders like no fighter before him, just ask Jose Aldo. Did Cerrone think he could beat McGregor deep inside himself? The “fight anytime, anywhere” guy looked like he was just going to get in the ring and see for himself, and it turned out he was horribly over-matched and outgunned. There was also a question that Cerrone posed to McGregor for the first time in a long time: how would McGregor respond to a fight without animosity in its build-up? McGregor has feuded with everyone: Floyd Mayweather, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz, but he had nothing but nice things to say about Cerrone and vice versa. Would this change his philosophical outlook in which he’s always thrived on adversity, or would the allure of making an illustrious comeback prove enough to fuel his fire? We got an answer to this question quite clearly at UFC 246. McGregor is not a wrestler, Khabib Nurmagomedov exposed that weakness in his game pretty clearly at UFC 229 back in October of 2018. In fact, McGregor’s best wrestling move is in fact his takedown defence, which he employed with mixed results against Nurmagomedov. We did not get to see any wrestling at UFC 246, which would have given an idea if McGregor has rounded out his game, but when you’re too busy dummying guys in the first half of the first round, it doesn’t matter much. So, where does McGregor go from here? There are a bunch of different camps who will be clamouring for their fight now. The most talked about one will surely be a venomous Nurmagomedov rematch, but the UFC may want to wait on this tilt and build it up more. McGregor is back, bringing in the cash again, and to see his celebrity take another hit in a likely loss to Nurmagomedov isn’t what the UFC wants or needs right now as it finds itself short on superstars outside of McGregor and Jon Jones. There is a possible fight with Justin Gaethje, which makes the most sense to UFC purists, and of course, possibly a great spectacle in McGregor facing Jorge Masvidal for the “BMF” belt. One can only expect the trash-talking to be legendary for that one, which will only help sell tickets and collect pay-per-view buys as the two loudmouths fight over the microphones and soapboxes in the lead up. McGregor has even hinted he may want to take on Manny Pacquiao, but the UFC does not want that, and there isn’t much of a case for it to be honest. McGregor would likely lose another boxing match to a boxer, and let’s face it, he doesn’t need the money and neither does Pacquiao. The bottom line is clear: McGregor is back, baby. Break out the whiskey. The UFC is rolling again with its biggest superstar notching a victory in the win column to start 2020. McGregor said he is going to start training again and likes the weight he is at right now. Where he goes specifically is anyone’s guess, but you can be sure of one thing: everyone and their dog will want to know when, where and how the Irish megastar throws down next.