Chael Sonnen: Conor McGregor is “Coming After Jorge Masvidal”
Conor McGregor is going to battle Donald Cerrone in a welterweight contest at UFC 246, and according to Chael Sonnen that's because the star is hunting for a bout with Jorge Masvidal.
Following the recent news that Conor McGregor’s going to fight Donald Cerrone at 170 pounds, there’s been a lot of talk about what could come next for the former UFC champ. Well, Chael Sonnen’s pretty certain McGregor’s facing Cerrone in a welterweight fight, as a means to secure a bout with Jorge Masvidal.
Sonnen says McGregor’s “coming after” Masvidal
Recently it was announced that McGregor will indeed, fight Cerrone on January 18th at UFC 246. While that news wasn’t too surprising, the fact it will be a welterweight contest turned some heads. After all, McGregor has repeatedly pushed for a rematch with lightweight champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and hasn’t talked much about competing at welterweight.
Well, recently Sonnen weighed-in on Cerrone – McGregor. After referring to the fact Dana White initially shot down the possibility of McGregor vs. Masvidal, Sonnen said this (quotes via Bloody Elbow):
“(Dana White) quickly said ‘no Masvidal is too big for him. I told you guys 20 mins after that statement was made that was not going to sit well with Conor,” Sonnen explained. “(White) told you three days after that he’d already been getting calls from Conor because that statement did not sit well with Conor.
“Now you’ve got the return of Conor at 170 lbs. Mark my words, he’s coming after Jorge Masvidal.”
Sonnen could certainly be onto something here, and others have also opined that McGregor could be looking at a third fight with Nate Diaz, or a showdown with Masvidal after UFC 246. Either of those bouts would be huge. Of course, if McGregor loses to Cerrone, the Masvidal match-up becomes less likely.
Conor’s power at 170?
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While talking about the implications of Cerrone – McGregor going down at 170, Sonnen also said this:
“We learned something (from the Diaz fight) that Conor, from his own admittance — some of his shots and some of that power and effectiveness — isn’t the same at 170 lbs,” he said. “This fight got a lot more interesting with those 15 lbs. The likelyhood of Cowboy Cerrone getting knocked out at 170 drops tremendously.
“Now, if you’re a Conor supporter, I have to ask, if Conor can’t knock him out, how does Conor beat him? You’re not left with a lot of options.”
Ya. Here too, it’s hard to argue with Sonnen. McGregor scored a decision win over Diaz in their rematch in 2016. But, Cerrone has a lot of striking tools at his disposal, and if he can get through what McGregor brings in the first and second rounds, his chances of winning the fight will rise significantly.