UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has shown an interest in fighting Conor McGregor next, but while that doesn’t seem likely at this stage, Chael Sonnen has warned the Brazilian ace to be careful what he wishes for.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Sonnen suggested that McGregor actually has the ability to pose problems for Oliveira, and in fact could present the Irish superstar wish his best chance of winning back the title.
““If there’s anybody that Conor is likely to beat to become the world champion, it is the sitting champion right now,” Sonnen said. “Charles Oliveira, Conor McGregor is a fascinating matchup. It is very problematic for Oliveira. Conor McGregor is as good of a striker as this sport has ever seen. Oliveira is a very dynamic striker who showed some real wrestling prowess in a couple of contests but in other contests didn’t.
“Conor can handle himself on the ground. Conor can take care of himself on the feet. The in-between has been a problem with very high-level guys. So now you start to have a question of, is Oliveira a really high level guy? Is he that high enough of a level guy? I don’t have the answers to these questions. I’m just sharing for you, however this goes, the fans are going to get something very special.”
It’s an interesting take, and certainly this is some merit to the idea that McGregor could cause problems for Oliveira on the feet as the current champion has been rocked in recent fights and ‘The Notorious’ is one of the hardest hitters in the division.
On the mat it’s a different story though as given that the likes of Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov have already tapped him out, Oliveira will rightly feel that as the UFC’s current all-time leader in submission finishes he would have a good chance of doing the same.
However, given that McGregor is on a losing streak and still rehabbing after last year’s broken leg, it would seem more likely that Oliveira would fight Justin Gaethje next instead, and that would also provide the champion with a major threat to deal with in the striking department.