Chael Sonnen explains what went wrong for Conor McGregor at UFC 257

Chael Sonnen, Conor McGregor

Former UFC and Bellator MMA star Chael Sonnen has shared his thoughts on what went wrong for Conor McGregor against Dustin Poirier.

McGregor and Poirier met in the main event of UFC 257 this past weekend. The bout was a rematch of a 2014 fight that McGregor won by first-round knockout. The second time around, Poirier crippled McGregor with leg kicks and ultimately stopped him with a storm of punches in the second round.

Speaking on the UFC 257 post-fight show on ESPN, Sonnen offered his take on what went wrong for McGregor in his rematch with Poirier.

In the immediate aftermath of the fight, McGregor pointed to his long patches of inactivity as the reason for his performance. Sonnen is on board with that explanation from the Irishman.

“Conor looked a little bit slower than I remember Conor,” Sonnen said (via MMA Fighting). “We do know as human beings, you don’t get better at something by not doing it. I give a lot of weight to what Conor said that the layoff hurt him.

“I saw his timing off, but I also saw Dustin blocking things, firing back, chewing up that lead leg. Not to mention, not just the takedown but the threat of the takedown pays dividends.”

While some members of the MMA community questioned McGregor’s explanation, noting that the Irishman has been active in training even if he hasn’t been fighting, Sonnen argues that there’s a key difference between training and competition.

“You can go in and spar, you can even get up and put those miles in,” Sonnen said. “I trust that Conor McGregor worked very hard, but there’s a different intensity. There’s a different stress when you’re talking about competition. Look if we have any myths as an industry in 2020, it’s that we had Conor McGregor saying, ‘I would like to fight four times,’ and we allowed him to fight one time.

“There’s other competitions that guys get into. They’ll go get in a grappling competition, they’ll go pick something up just to get that rush, just to get those vibes, just to be in the back, have that warmup, sleep in a hotel, have the weigh-in. Conor didn’t do any of those things.”

What do you think of this explanation from Chael Sonnen? Was Conor McGregor hurt by his prolonged inactivity in his fight with Dustin Poirier?

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