“That’s the fight!”
Chael Sonnen can’t believe that more people aren’t crying out for Conor McGregor vs. Jorge Masvidal.
McGregor is scheduled to fight Dustin Poirier for a third time this summer and it’s expected that the winner of that rubber match will be next in line for a shot at the UFC lightweight title.
Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira will compete for the UFC’s 155lbs belt this weekend after Poirier turned down the chance to fight for the title left vacant by the recently-retired Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But Sonnen believes that, win or lose against Poirier, McGregor should look to move back up to the welterweight division and target a clash with Masvidal.
“I realise that he’s come back down to 155lbs and that he’s got other interests. Poirier gave a big road block and he’s got to go and get that one right,” Sonnen said.
“But why are we not discussing… Win or lose, do we need to see Conor fighting the winner of Chandler vs. Oliveira for any kind of sporting integrity reasons? Like ‘Oh that fight just has to happen!’ I don’t think so. I didn’t think we needed to do it with Conor vs. Khabib II…
“I don’t think Conor is going to miss something in his life if he doesn’t recapture a belt that he’s already had.
“Conor went up for a reason and that reason was Jorge Masvidal. Win or lose against Dustin Poirier, Conor vs. Jorge Masvidal works! Masvidal is looking for something to do.”
Masvidal, who beat McGregor’s perennial rival Nate Diaz for the symbolic BMF title in 2019, remains one of the biggest superstars in MMA despite his recent back-to-back defeats for the UFC welterweight championship.
McGregor vs Masvidal
McGregor vs. Masvidal has been touted as a possibility in the past but the bout was dismissed by UFC President Dana White because, according to him, Masvidal is too big for McGregor.
‘The Notorious’ took umbrage with that claim from White and has recently reiterated his desire to return to welterweight.
Sonnen believes that both McGregor and Masvidal are in the rare position whereby their recent track record in the Octagon doesn’t hinder their drawing power.
“Think of the power those guys have,” Sonnen continued.
“Let’s just say that Conor loses to Poirier, so that would be Conor losing two in a row and Conor not having won in a meaningful period of time. And if you took the ‘Cowboy’ fight out of it, you’re going on four or five years, which is a ridiculous amount of time.
“Masvidal has lost his last two, including one by finish. These all sound like put-downs but do you know how big business would be?
“You’d have two guys coming off of losses, multiple losses, and they would sell out and fill up any building. That’s the fight!
“If you’re just looking for an obvious, easy promotional story to tell, that one just falls right into your lap.”