Chael Sonnen Comments On The Possibility Of Conor McGregor’s 2023 Return

Chael Sonnen thinks that if Conor McGregor does not return in 2023 he may never return.

Sonnen McGregor
Credit Chael Sonnen on YouTube and Conor McGregor on Instagram

Chael Sonnen sees a big hole in Conor McGregor’s plan to return to the UFC in 2023.

For over a year and a half, Conor McGregor has been out of competition. His last appearance in the Octagon was against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. In that fight, McGregor broke his leg and has been rehabbing it ever since. He has taken time away from fighting to concentrate on both his healing and his movie career. Now he appears to be nearing a return to the UFC but a few obstacles still stand in the way. 

During his absence, McGregor withdrew himself from the USADA testing pool. He will have to return to that program and spend six months in testing before being eligible to return to active competition within the UFC. This fact and more have instilled doubt about his return. Former UFC fighter turned analyst, Chael Sonnen spoke about this and more when contemplating the odds of McGregor returning this year. 

Chael Sonnen is in doubt that Conor McGregor will ever fight in the UFC again

Sonnen is looking at the timeline for McGregor to return this year and has brought up a few questions about the likelihood. He feels that returning to the testing pool is a big hurdle to being eligible in 2023. 

“We have not even been told that he has entered the pool, I feel as though that’s news that we probably would be told and we would be told quickly,” he said on his YouTube channel. “The last time Conor spoke about it he said I’ll be ready to enter the pool by February. If he enters the pool by February and you guys can do the math. You understand this is the second month of the year, you understood it’s six months, and now we’re damn near to winter, just to see if you can get him booked.”

Sonnen is unsure about McGregor’s fighting future if he does not get a fight book this year. He feels that too much time will have been taken and that if the return is pushed to 2024, then retirement should be in the discussion. 

“You got to understand one thing if he does not fight in 2023, there is no point in fighting. I mean, now we’re just being reckless now we’re just being dangerous, right? We’re always going to use history as the greatest trajectory to the future,” he said. “There is nothing historic in fighting that would tell you it’s a good idea to bring a guy back with that kind of a layoff. Not to mention he happens to be a member of the most difficult division in our sport, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t do it. I understand that.”

There are plenty of fighter biting at the chance to face McGregor whenever he returns. He has also been teasing a change of weight class. The only thing that seems to be standing in the way at this time is the USADA status and actually taking a fight. McGregor continues to be the most popular fighter in the UFC and will still be the biggest draw whenever he chooses to return. The longer the wait the more interested fans will be to see him back. 

Published on January 12, 2023 at 10:49 am
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