Conor McGregor has his best chance to become a UFC champion again by challenging Charles Oliveira, says Chael Sonnen.
The Irishman looks set to make his return to UFC later this year following the broken leg he suffered at UFC 264 last July.
Conor McGregor has made it very clear he wants Charles Oliveira
Despite only winning once since becoming the first-ever UFC double champion back in 2016, The Notorious looks like he’s going to walk back into a title fight upon his return.
McGregor is linking up with his coach John Kavanagh in Ireland this month to begin serious training once more and Sonnen, a former UFC title challenger himself, believes that if McGregor does indeed get the shot, he’ll likely win.
“If there’s anybody that Conor is likely to beat to become the world champion, it is the sitting champion right now,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel.
“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.
Chael Sonnen believes challenging Charles Oliveira suits Conor McGregor perfectlyGETTY
“Conor can handle himself on the ground. 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.”
Oliveira was the betting underdog against both Michael Chandler in the vacant title fight and then Dustin Poirier in his first title defence, but on both occasions, the Brazilian came out on top. Some respect has to be put on his name.
Conor McGregor has beefed up during rehab and will need to slim down before challenging Oliveira@notoriousmma (Twitter)
The champion is on a ten-fight winning streak overall with only Tony Ferguson able to take him to a decision. During the same span, McGregor has won just once, but he’s also only fought four times and his losses came against high-level competitors in the shape of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Poirier.
McGregor wants the title fight, but UFC boss Dana White has already stated that Justin Gaethj should be next in line for Oliveira.
The problem seems to be that Oliveira’s head has been turned by the fabled ‘red panty night’ that comes with a McGregor fight – meaning the payday.