Chael Sonnen quickly pivots on Conor McGregor rehab claims: “That would be good stuff!”

By Curtis Calhoun - June 19, 2024

Chael Sonnen has opened up on his viral claim that UFC superstar Conor McGregor’s withdrawal from UFC 303 was due to substance abuse.

Chael Sonnen, Conor McGregor

McGregor withdrew from UFC 303 due to an undisclosed injury ahead of his planned June 29 return against Michael Chandler. The matchup is expected to be rescheduled for later this year at a to-be-determined date and venue.

The mystery surrounding McGregor’s last-second withdrawal from UFC 303 all began when a pre-fight press conference in Dublin was canceled. Almost two weeks later, the UFC and McGregor formally announced that the fight was off.

Sonnen, during a recent episode of Good Guy/Bad Guy with Daniel Cormier, claimed that the real reason behind McGregor’s pull-out was substance abuse and a trip to a rehabilitation facility. McGregor’s representative Karen Kessler recently told TMZ that Sonnen’s claims were unfounded.

Chael Sonnen clarifies Conor McGregor rehab stance

During a recent episode of his Beyond The Fight podcast, Sonnen clarified his stance on McGregor’s UFC 303 withdrawal.

“I do not know that Conor [McGregor] is in rehab, for one,” Sonnen said of McGregor. “For two, I wouldn’t begrudge or tease Conor in the least if he was in rehab, I would be very proud of Conor, and I would imagine for somebody in his spot, to go into rehab is something you want to keep quiet. To do that in Ireland, I would imagine that he would’ve needed to humble himself greatly…

“If he’s in rehab, that’s awesome! That would be good stuff!” Sonnen continued. “We’ve all dealt with this, whether it’s yourself, somebody in your family, somebody in your circle. But one thing that you learn when somebody goes to rehab is one of the steps and one of the things they make real sure of is that you are never around it again…the point that I was attempting to make, which is what I believe, is two weeks prior to the press conference being canceled…Conor was at [The Black Forge] and he’s shown drinking in photos…if someone is overseeing his rehab, they’d catch that and say ‘Hey, you gotta get out’…I think it was alcohol [in his drink], he didn’t want a mistake to be made, he partied it up and made some bad decisions.”

As of this writing, McGregor himself hasn’t addressed Sonnen’s claims.

McGregor hasn’t fought since a doctor’s stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. If he returns to the cage later in 2024, he’ll look to snap a recent losing skid of defeats in three of his last four fights.

Sonnen remains convinced that the reasoning behind McGregor’s UFC 303 absence wasn’t made public. As we wait for McGregor’s UFC return, the first fight withdrawal in his UFC tenure continues to garner headlines.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Chael Sonnen Conor McGregor UFC