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Chael Sonnen suggests that UFC 257 fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier could become title fight

Chael Sonnen (left); Conor McGregor (center); Dustin Poirier (right)
Chael Sonnen (left); Conor McGregor (center); Dustin Poirier (right)
Johny Payne
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Modified 21 Nov 2020, 06:25 IST
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On a recent episode released via his official YouTube channel, MMA superstar and former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen weighed in on the upcoming fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Chael Sonnen suggested that the UFC 257 matchup between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier could eventually be declared as a lightweight title fight.

It was earlier this year that McGregor and Poirier confirmed by way of their social media accounts that they’d be facing one another in a rematch.

Their first fight transpired back in September 2014 and witnessed McGregor secure a first-round TKO victory over Poirier.

McGregor and Poirier achieved a considerable amount of success in their respective careers in the ensuing years.

McGregor is a former undisputed UFC featherweight and lightweight champion, whereas Poirier formerly held the interim UFC lightweight title. Both fighters are now looking forward to reclaiming the lightweight division’s throne.

That said, the UFC lightweight title picture is currently unclear since the division’s champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport in October 2020. Although Nurmagomedov retired from MMA, the UFC is yet to strip him of his lightweight title.

Many prominent personalities in the MMA community, including UFC president Dana White and Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, have claimed that Nurmagomedov isn’t really retired. They’ve consistently stated that 'The Eagle' could return to the UFC for one more fight to try to take his MMA record to 30-0.

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Chael Sonnen suggests that Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier could be a UFC lightweight title fight

In the latest video posted on his popular YouTube channel, veteran MMA superstar Chael Sonnen addressed the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier UFC 257 matchup that will take place on January 23rd, 2021.

Firstly, Sonnen highlighted the fact that although the McGregor vs. Poirier fight was announced more than a month ago, its official confirmation has taken a while.

Sonnen then favorably compared Khabib Nurmagomedov to Georges St-Pierre. He noted that just like St-Pierre, Nurmagomedov didn’t hold his UFC title hostage like some other fighters would.

'The American Gangster' added that St-Pierre and Nurmagomedov respectively decided to bid adieu to the sport whilst still being reigning champions, in the middleweight and lightweight divisions respectively. Sonnen continued that they sincerely announced their retirement and didn’t hold on to their UFC titles.

Furthermore, Sonnen explained that while certain individuals might claim that Nurmagomedov’s retirement is unlikely to last, the latter has stayed true to his word and hasn’t shown any interest in returning thus far.

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Moreover, Chael Sonnen emphasized that owing to the myriad of variables at play, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that the McGregor vs. Poirier match-up might become a title fight.

Sonnen believes that White could make an announcement in the days to come and reveal that McGregor vs Poirier will be contested for the vacant UFC lightweight title or at the very least for the interim title. Sonnen stated:

“I will tell you: How does this all tie into Khabib? I mean if this is going to be the official, the final, the tenth, fight announcement that these guys are going to fight January 23rd under unified rules in the main event at a hundred and fifty-five pounds…If we’re doing all those things, today would also be the appropriate day to say, ‘oh, by the way, it’s going to be for the championship.’”
“Now that can happen at any point. I’m sharing with you, historically speaking, today would be the day when that cherry would be put on top of that sundae, and it wasn’t.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Sonnen opined that the fight between top-tier lightweights Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler ought to be booked as the co-main event at UFC 257.

Sonnen added that UFC 257 would then have all four top lightweights booked for the same event, and should any of them pull out from either one of those fights, they can be replaced by another fighter.

Published 21 Nov 2020, 06:25 IST
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