Quantitative MRI biomarkers, such as T2, T2*, and T1rho have been used to detect cartilage degeneration. However, these biomarkers are sensitive to the magic angle effect. Magnetization transfer (MT) modeling provides magic angle insensitive parameters such as macromolecular proton fraction (MMF). This study focuses on the clinical evaluation of cartilage degeneration using 3D ultrashort echo time cones MT (3D UTE-Cones-MT) modeling in osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Both MMF and MT ratio (MTR) show significant negative correlations with WORMS grading of knee cartilage. This study highlights the potential of 3D UTE-Cones-MT techniques for detection of early cartilage degeneration in OA.