Conor McGregor says his critics believe he is toast, but he insists he is still the bread. That one-liner shows the "Notorious" Irishman's unwavering self-belief system as he returns to the Octagon on Saturday to face Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas. The main UFC 246 fight card starts at 10 p.m. ET. McGregor (21-4) hasn't fought in 15 months and hasn't won a UFC bout since stopping Eddie Alvarez in November 2016.
The talented but erratic Cerrone (36-13-1), the UFC's all-time wins leader with 23, could be in the twilight of his career following consecutive stoppage losses. A third straight defeat would surely raise more questions about his future. McGregor is a -300 favorite (risk $300 to win $100), while Cerrone is a +240 underdog in the current McGregor vs. Cerrone odds. Meanwhile, Holly Holm is a -135 favorite over Raquel Pennington (+115) in the current UFC 246 odds. Before making any UFC 246 picks and McGregor vs. Cowboy predictions of your own, check out what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say.
Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up more than $19,000.
At UFC Fight Night 165 in December, Marley told SportsLine members that Chan Sung Jung, aka "The Korean Zombie" (-185), would dominate veteran Frankie Edgar (+165) in the featherweight main event. He predicted a knockout finish for Jung, and the South Korean delivered with a flurry to stop Edgar in the first round.
Moreover, at UFC 245, Marley accurately predicted that welterweight champ Kamaru Usman (-175) would prevail in his title defense against challenger Colby Covington (+155). The result: Usman scored a fifth-round TKO to secure the victory. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.
Now, with UFC 246 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every single fight. He's sharing those selections only over at SportsLine.
Marley knows the main event will likely be a defining moment in the careers of both fighters. McGregor has seen his star power and popularity take a hit because of a series of negative incidents outside the octagon. The 31-year-old Irishman also saw his reputation take a blow following his lopsided loss to Nurmagomedov following a nearly two-year hiatus from the UFC, during which he lost a highly-publicized boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
For all of his accolades, Cerrone, 36, has just one title bout in his UFC career, a loss to Rafael Dos Anjos in December 2015. The Denver native appeared perhaps headed toward another title run when he reeled off three straight victories, but was stopped by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje in his last two bouts. A third consecutive loss would give his critics more fodder. Go see the top UFC 246 picks now.
We'll reveal one of Marley's UFC 246 predictions here: He is backing Alekey Oleinik (+105) to get the win in a heavyweight bout with Maurice Green (-125) on the main card. Oleinik (57-13) has 45 career stoppages via submission.
In 10 career UFC fights, Oleinik has averaged 2.99 takedowns and 2.66 submissions per 15 minutes, so he has a knack for getting fights to the ground where he can use his submission background to stop fights. And he has a solid matchup with Green (8-3) coming off a first-round loss via knockout back in October to Sergei Pavlovich.
"All Oleinik needs to do is get a hold of his opponent one time and he can lock up a choke submission," Marley told SportsLine.
Marley also has strong picks for McGregor vs. Cerrone, Holm vs. Pennington and every other bout on the UFC 246 card, including backing a fighter who's a "stud on his feet and looks like a future title-contender." Get every pick for every fight at SportsLine.
Who wins Cerrone vs. McGregor? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 246, all from the expert who's up more than $19,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out.