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Chael Sonnen: Conor McGregor’s Made a “Miscalculation” Taking Five-Round Fight

Most people seem to believe that Conor McGregor [1] will return to the win column when he faces Donald Cerrone, so much so, some folks are calling it a tune-up fight for the star. While Chael Sonnen isn’t saying McGregor shouldn’t be the favorite to win the upcoming bout, he does think the former champ may have made a big mistake, agreeing to a five-round fight.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Sonnen weighs-in on Cerrone vs. McGregor

After months of speculation as to who and when McGregor would fight next, recently it was announced the controversial star will battle Cerrone on January 18th [2]. The bout will be contested at welterweight, and it will headline UFC 246 in Las Vegas. Due to its main event status, the fight is a five-round fight.

Well, following the announcement, Sonnen weighed-in on the contest on his YouTube channel. [3]Here is some of what the retired fighter had to say (quotes via MMA Mania [4]):

“Conor is likely to go in as the heavy favorite…,” Sonnen said. “[But] understand one thing. The fight is scheduled for five rounds. If Conor ever had a flaw in his career, and he hasn’t had very many, he’s been open to admit it, he gets tired.

“To come off that layoff that he’s had… and yes he’ll be looking for that finish, he’ll be looking for that left hand, he’ll be looking to get Cowboy out of there, I understand that.

“But he did the same thing with Nate Diaz, and when he found out that Nate could take a punch, all of a sudden you’re in the later rounds, and all of a sudden you’re out of energy.”

“I do feel in many ways the miscalculation here is to walk back into a five-round fight,” Sonnen said.

It’s an interesting argument. No question. Others have also argued that McGregor’s powers diminish significantly after the second round. In fact, in his first fight with Diaz, McGregor appeared to be significantly fatigued in round two, and he was submitted before the frame ended.

McGregor admitted after the bout that he threw too many heavy shots in the early going, and that he would learn from the experience. In their rematch in August, 2016, McGregor recorded a five-round, decision win over Diaz. It’s also worth noting that McGregor made it into the fourth round against Khabib Nurmagomedov in their fight, and that he also looked pretty good in round three, before getting submitted in round four.

All that said, few people would likely argue the longer the fight goes, the better it will be for Cerrone. Especially since “Cowboy” has often been a slow starter.

UFC 246 line-up to date

Here is the line-up so far for UFC 246, which will be hosted by T-Mobile Arena.

Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
Anthony Pettis vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Maycee Barber vs. Roxanne Modafferi
Drew Dober vs. Nasrat Haqparast
Chas Skelly vs. Grant Dawson
Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov
Andre Fili vs. Sodiq Yusuff
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Maurice Greene