During last week’s episode of the DC and RC Show on ESPN, former UFC double-champ Daniel Cormier broached the idea of a tune-up fight for company superstar Conor McGregor. Here’s what DC had to say:
“We have seen Conor in a tune-up fight before, when he fought Cowboy Cerrone. That was about as a tune-up fight as it can be,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt to put Conor in there with someone that has a name, that may not be as dangerous to him right now.”
On some level, fellow analyst Chael Sonnen agrees. In a recent YouTube video, he dropped a name that likely isn’t on the minds of anyone who understands how the sport works. Sonnen, however, made his case.
“You guys wanna know a fight for Conor that no one’s discussing? You wanna know a fight for Conor that they should think about doing? Michael Chiesa,” he said.
“That’s the one that’s absolutely never been discussed by anybody. I personally believe that there is a gag order. I personally believe there’s a reason that Chiesa’s never called out McGregor.”
For Sonnen, the possible storyline could center around McGregor’s infamous dolly incident at UFC 223 in 2018, which left Chiesa unable to compete for his then-scheduled fight against Anthony Pettis.
“Just to remind you guys, when the bus incident between Conor and the dolly and Khabib took place, there (were) lawsuits that followed that. And Chiesa was one of them,” Sonnen explained. “Chiesa got glass into his eye. It was a very bad experience.
“I think there’s a story there. Personally. Whether that turned into fruition and that turned into a fight, I’ve always there was a story there that should be told. But neither guy has told it. Neither guy’s manager has told it. Neither camp has told it. No trainers have told it.
“So I’ve just elected on my known that there must some kind of a gag order in place. But that’s the match. That’s a very interesting match, from a stylistic standpoint. That checks a lot of boxes.”
McGregor has been out of action since July 2021, when he broke his leg during his third fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. And according to UFC president Dana White, “The Notorious” is “not ready” for a comeback any time soon.