Chael Sonnen spoke with Conor McGregor during a media engagement at ESPN HQ late last week and was both impressed and somewhat surprised at how big the interim featherweight title challenger was just over a week out from his fight with Chad Mendes at UFC 189.

“I played around with him a few days ago,” sonnen told Jim Rome on his show on Friday. “He was extremely fast, he was extremely awkward and he’s a very big guy. I was impressed with how big he is too. I said, ‘Conor, what do you weigh?’ He said, ‘About 172lbs’. He’s gotta be 145 in eight days.

“So, he’s going to be a little bigger than Chad. I don’t know if that helps or not – it might slow him down…but he’s a big guy!.”

Of course that immediately leads you to wonder just how ‘The Notorious’ is going to cut almost 30 pounds in eight days, and Sonnen admits he’s not sure himself.

“I’ve done that before, but I’m considerably bigger. Percentage wise I don’t have to pull quite as much, so I don’t know how he’s going to do it. He’s very lean, he’s got a very busy media schedule – you know he’s training out in Las Vegas, he was in L.A doing Conan O’Brien last night, he was in New York doing Reebok the day before that, he was in Conneticut the day before that with us at ESPN.

“So, 1. how does he do the weight? 2. how does he find the time? I don’t know.”

Time will tell, but McGregor had showed up to weigh-ins before looking gaunt, but he’s never actually had an issue making the featherweight limit. However, he’s talked about moving up to lightweight before, and by the sounds of things he’s got the size to make that transition fairly smoothly.

Listen to more of Sonnen’s interview with Jim Rome below.

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Over the years I've watched the UFC develop into the powerhouse it is today, organizations like PRIDE, Strikeforce and WEC rise and fall, and Bellator emerge as a new force on the MMA landscape. Throughout it all I've remained captivated by the sport and I'm excited to cover what comes next here on MMA Insight.