Earlier this week famed Tri-Star coach Firas Zahabi brought GSP’s prediction for UFC 246’s main event between Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone, but now he’s weighing in with his own thoughts on the fight.
“I’m divided on this one,” Zahabi said on the Tri-Star youtube channel. “My brain is telling me ‘look, McGregor is gonna win. He’s been planning his return. He’s been training like a wild man. Cowboy’s just been taking any fight. He’s banged up. He’s later in his career. He’s had losses. He’s been hurt. He got hurt by Ferguson, he got hurt by Gaethje. What makes you think McGregor won’t hurt him?’
“Well, my brain is telling me McGregor is gonna win this fight, but my heart is telling me I want Cowboy to win. Why? Because I know the guy. He’s a great guy. I’ve trained with him in the past. I always pick a fighter that I know. However, in this instance, I got to be really really transparent. I’ve got to tell you I really do believe that McGregor is gonna be able to tag Cowboy.
“Now he’s either gonna finish Cowboy in the first two, or it’s going to the later rounds but the damage in the first two are gonna carry McGregor in the later rounds.”
Zahabi went on to explain more about how he feels the two fighters are at different stages of their career and his belief that this will have an effect on the outcome of the fight.
“I’m assuming McGregor has been training really really hard. He wants to get back in there. He wants to be champion again. I think he’s highly highly motivated, and this is one major reason why I’m picking McGregor. Because I feel that Cowboy is just taking fights but his body is wearing down.
“He’s been in a lot of great fights. He’s been in a lot of great fights very recently that he got hurt, so in my opinion, he can’t be this fresh. Cowboy’s been putting a lot of miles in his body, in a short period of time. And these are wars he’s been going through.
“His last ten fights, he’s lost six, and I think it’s because of the quick turnarounds.”
However, having said that, Zahabi does believe that the fight being at 170lbs favors Cerrone.
“Here’s one plus in Cowboy’s side that I really like: this fight is at 170. It’s less stress for his body, and he’s done 170 against real 170 lb fighters and won.
“Yet I do still think that Conor’s gonna be able to counter punch Cowboy. He’s gonna be very aggressive. I think he’s gonna go for it, and I think he might get countered. My heart is saying Cowboy, but my brain… I think Conor is going to land those counter punches.”