Chael Sonnen offers interesting theory on Conor McGregor retirement

Conor McGregor
Image: Conor McGregor on Instagram

Conor McGregor has retired from MMA — at least, that’s what he’s claiming.

Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.
I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.
I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.
Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!” 
– Conor McGregor on Twitter.

In the opinion of ESPN analyst Chael Sonnen, McGregor’s retirement might be a little less simple than it looks on the surface. He believes the Irish MMA star retired to avoid damaging the UFC brand with his current troubles outside the cage.

“I would not think that retiring, excluding yourself, taking yourself out of something very positive, very loved, very coveted as a means of strategy while having to deal with something so tremendous, would be wise,” Sonnen said of Conor McGregor on his Beyond the Fight podcast (transcript via Bloody Elbow). “I would think at a time like this you would keep as many friends and as many doors, and as many things open as you could.”

“The other side of that coin is that could easily tarnish the other entity. You may to come to somebody, or you have somebody come to you and go ‘Look, this is not going to be good branding, this is not going to be good timing. This is going to be a jam of the highest of levels, it is best if you step away.’”

What do you think of Chael Sonnen’s theory on Conor McGregor?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/29/2019.