“Notorious” is nearly 10 months removed from the gruesome leg break he suffered at UFC 264 in July 2021. Following months of recovery and rehabilitation, the Irishman has recently gotten back to boxing training and is hopeful to start full-fledged MMA training soon.
Considering “The Nigerian Nightmare” is likely fighting Leon Edwards next, as per UFC president Dana White, coupled with there being several prominent top contenders like Khamzat Chimaev, Belal Muhammad and Colby Covington, it’s unclear if the promotion will grant McGregor an instant title fight.
Notorious is 0-2 in his last two bouts, which both take place at lightweight against Dustin Poirier. He’s 2-1 as a 170 pounder, holding victories over Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz, and dropping a fight to Diaz as well.
Sonnen Pitches Idea of McGregor vs. Chiesa for the Irishman’s Return
Sonnen recently proposed a fight between McGregor and Chiesa, the No. 11-ranked welterweight. “Maverick” is currently on a two-fight losing streak and he hasn’t competed since November 2021.
When Notorious infamously threw a dolly through the window of a bus during the lead-up to his fight with then-lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018, Chiesa was a passenger. After the incident, Maverick alleged that he got glass in his eye due to the dolly tossed by McGregor, and he subsequently sued the former two-division UFC champion.
At the time of this writing, it’s unclear how the lawsuit has progressed.
Well, Sonnen likes the storyline between McGregor and Chiesa, and he pitched the idea of a bout.
“Michael Chiesa. That’s the one that has absolutely never been discussed by anybody,” Sonnen said via Mirror.
“But just to remind you guys. When the bus incident between Conor and the dolly and Khabib took place, there was lawsuits that followed that. And Chiesa was one of them. Chiesa got glass into his eye, it was very bad experience. I think that there’s a story there.
“I’ve always thought there was a story there that should be told. But neither guy has told it. Neither guy’s manager told it, neither camp has told it, no trainers have told it. But that’s the match. That’s a very interesting match from a stylistic standpoint. That checks a lot of boxes.”
Chiesa versus McGregor would be viewed as a classic grappler versus striker competition, and Notorious would likely enter the contest as the underdog.
McGregor Could Return in Early Fall, According to the UFC President
In a recent interview with SunSport, the UFC president confirmed McGregor is not yet ready for his MMA return, but White’s optimistic that the Irishman can return in early fall.
“I literally have nothing for him right now, he’s not ready,” White said as per the outlet. “The whole landscape could change over the summer. We’ll see when he’s ready to fight. And when the doctor gives him 100 percent clearance we’ll start looking at possible opponents.”
“We’re looking at early fall, if everything goes right,” White said. “If his leg heals right and he gets the clearance to really start training, then possibly early fall.”