UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has yet to defend his title. Given that he won that title all the way back in November of 2016, that’s really starting to bug a lot of fans. In fact, there are widespread calls for the UFC to strip McGregor of his lightweight belt.
While many fans would like to see McGregor stripped, however, it hasn’t happened yet. The leading theory to that end is that UFC President Dana White wants the belt to stay around the waist of his Irish cash cow for as long as possible.
MMA analyst and current Bellator star Chael Sonnen isn’t buying that theory. In his opinion, it just doesn’t make sense.
“I’m not some Conor defender, I’m not a hater, I’m just living in the world of reality,” Sonnen said on a recent episode of Beyond the Fight (via Anton Tabuena of BloodyElbow). “What I’m speaking to is the conspiracy theory that Dana would protect Conor for Business. How does that help business?”
“How is it more helpful for Conor on his next fight, to walk out wearing the belt, than for somebody else to walk out wearing the belt with Conor walking out from the opposing corner. It’s the same! What’s the difference?”
“You want it to do good business. You strip the son of a bitch, so you could come back that Conor McGregor is back after the title that he never lost,” he said. “That, would do big business.”
Sonnen then argued that there’s really no reason to strip McGregor anyway. After all, it’s not like he’s just been sitting on the sidelines.
“Dana hasn’t stripped him, because he doesn’t have a reason to strip him. Conor isn’t hurt, and he’s not refusing fights,” Sonnen said. “People say, well he hasn’t defended his belt, he hasn’t fought since Eddie Alvarez. That’s not true, he did fight. It was [his boxing match with] Floyd Mayweather.”
“While the title wasn’t on the line, Conor wasn’t at home sitting on his ass doing nothing. He was tied up in a business venture. So he’s not holding up the company, he’s not even holding up a division. He had a once in a lifetime opportunity, and he took it. That’s just the reality.”
What do you think of Chael Sonnen’s take on the Conor McGregor situation?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/4/2018.