Chael Sonnen believes Conor McGregor could be the fighter to dethrone Charles Oliveira and reclaim the UFC lightweight title.
Sonnen, 44, believes ‘The Notorious’ is a very dangerous matchup for ‘Do Bronx’ and has a legitimate shot at beating the Brazilian despite being 1-3 in his last four fights and suffering a potentially career-threatening injury against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.
‘The Bad Guy’ explained what makes McGregor — a former UFC two-division champion — such a problematic opponent for Oliveira in a recent YouTube video.
“If there’s anybody that Conor is likely to beat to become the world champion, it is the sitting champion right now,” Sonnen, a former three-time UFC title challenger, said (h/t Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “Charles Oliveira-Conor McGregor is a fascinating matchup. It is very problematic for Oliveira. Conor McGregor is as good of a striker as this sport has ever seen. Oliveira is a very dynamic striker who showed some real wrestling prowess in a couple of contests but in other contests didn’t.”
“Conor can handle himself on the ground,” Sonnen added. “Conor can take care of himself on the feet. The in-between has been a problem with very high-level guys. So now you start to have a question of, is Oliveira a really high level guy? Is he that high enough of a level guy? I don’t have the answers to these questions. I’m just sharing for you, however this goes, the fans are going to get something very special.”
McGregor is expected to be sidelined until summer at the earliest after suffering a broken leg in his trilogy bout with Poirier last year.
Oliveira, on the other hand, is fresh off a third-round submission victory over Poirier at UFC 269. The reigning lightweight champ holds multiple UFC records including the most submission wins (15) and most finishes (18) in the promotion as well as riding a ten-fight win streak in what is arguably the most competitive division in the organization.