Chael Sonnen Confident Conor McGregor is a ‘Better Fighter’ Than Michael Chandler

Sonnen believes McGregor is a better fighter, but he can't necessarily say that the Irishman is a better competitor

Conor Mcgregor
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Chael Sonnen believes Conor McGregor is a better fighter than Michael Chandler. Whether or not he’s a better competitor remains to be seen.

After nearly three years on the shelf, the Irish megastar will return to the Octagon for the first time since suffering a devastating leg injury. Set to headline UFC 303 on Saturday, June 29, McGregor will square off with lightweight star and former Bellator MMA champion Michael Chandler nearly a year and a half after their bout was first announced. 

With McGregor competing for the first time since July 2021, there are many questions surrounding what the former two-division champion will look like — particularly against a high-octane striker like Chandler. 

Speaking on the subject during a recent episode of ESPN’s Good Guy/Bad Guy with co-host Daniel Cormier, Sonnen confidently declared that McGregor is a better fighter than his opposition, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be the better competitor come fight night.  

“I think that Conor McGregor is the better fighter,” Sonnen said. “I think McGregor is quicker. He’s a little bit longer. He’s got a much more awkward style. Chandler is more straightforward, but I don’t know that I can say that McGregor is a better competitor.

“I really don’t know that. I don’t know that he’s got his eye on the ball, but it is one of those things where there’s a little bit of speculation. A guy returning from a [long] layoff is very hard, particularly when going five rounds.”

Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler Determined to Get Back Into the Win Column

After claiming his second UFC title in November 2016, McGregor cashed in on his clout, booking a massive crossover boxing match with legendary pugilist Floyd Mayweather the following year. McGregor lost the bout via TKO in the 10th round. Since then, he has only secured one win inside the Octagon — a 40-second TKO over a past-his-prime Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246. 

He followed up that win with back-to-back losses against Dustin Poirier. 

Michael Chandler hasn’t fared much better since signing with the promotion in 2021. He announced his arrival with an epic first-round knockout of Dan Hooker at UFC 257 but promptly followed it up with losses against Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.

He bounced back by KO’ing Tony Ferguson but found his way back to the loss column with a third-round submission defeat at the hands of Poirier. 

Currently, McGregor and Chandler are practically dead on a majority of sportsbooks. DraftKings has ‘Mystic Mac’ at a -112 while Chandler is sitting at -108. FanDuel has them both at -113, though those odds will almost certainly shift as we get closer to International Fight Week. 

Watch the full episode below:

Published on April 30, 2024 at 8:41 pm
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