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Sonnen says he saw the ‘surest thing to a guarantee’ on Conor McGregor’s UFC return

“Conor’s not playing.”

UFC star Conor McGregor at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix.
UFC star Conor McGregor at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix.
Photo by Alessio Morgese/NurPhoto via Getty Images

UFC star Conor McGregor has been away from competition for more than a year now, with no specific guarantee of a return. More speculations arose when it recently came to light that “The Notorious” has not been tested by USADA since the third quarter of 2021.

But there continues to be some footage of McGregor in the gym, with his most recent one in the wrestling room. Chael Sonnen – an NCAA Division I wrestler himself – got wind of this four-minute clip and was left impressed.

“If you haven’t seen this and you’re an aspiring fighter, you must go watch this. You must watch this, but you must study this,” Sonnen said in a recent YouTube video he uploaded.

“If you don’t know Conor McGregor and you don’t know he’s from Ireland — a country that doesn’t even have wrestling… if you don’t know those things, and I show you this footage and I tell you this guy was my teammate at the University of Oregon, you’re going to believe me.”

For Sonnen, the fact that McGregor went through the wrestling grind is a good enough indicator of a comeback.

“My number one takeaway, Conor’s not playing. There are guys who would go into a gym, they would go do a whole gym workout and they’ll lift some weights, they’ll hit the pull-up bar, they’ll make sure they snap a photo of themselves for Instagram. They’ll hit the water fountain. They’ll even go hit some mitts, oh they love looking good at the mitts. They’ll go do the speed bag, get a little clip, put this out…

“That’s exercise, that’s good stuff. That’s good exercise. Conor grabbing a guy, pushing and pulling, back-and-forth… you don’t play wrestling.

“You don’t play wrestling, it’s very difficult. It’s very hard stuff, and the fact that Conor McGregor is out there on a weekend, pushing and pulling, and he’s wrestling… Guys, he’s coming back.

“This is the surest thing to a guarantee we’ve had. Not his tweets. Not his memes. Not him hitting pads. The fact that Conor McGregor — who’s down a good 15 pounds — is pushing and pulling and wrestling, something you don’t play, something you don’t do to burn calories… Conor McGregor is coming back!”

McGregor’s last fight happened at UFC 264 in July 2021, in a trilogy against Dustin Poirier. He lost via first-round TKO due to a broken leg.