Chael Sonnen: Conor McGregor a better fighter than Michael Chandler but not a better competitor

Chael Sonnen sees Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler each holding an advantage over the other.

McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) returns from an almost three-year layoff to face Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in the UFC 303 main event June 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+).

Sonnen gives McGregor the edge in skills over Chandler.

“I think Conor McGregor is the better fighter,” Sonnen said on his ESPN show “Good Guy/Bad Guy” with Daniel Cormier. “I think Conor McGregor is quicker, he’s a little bit longer, he’s got a much more awkward style. Chandler is more straightforward.”

Many questioned McGregor’s motivation during his time off as he made his acting debut in the movie “Road House,” which was released March 21 on Prime Video. McGregor was also actively promoting his alcohol brands, Forged Irish Stout and Proper No. Twelve, before fully jumping into training camp mode.

Chandler, on the other hand, appeared to be non-stop training since his submission loss to Dustin Poirier in November 2022. Therein lies the difference for Sonnen.

“But I don’t know that I can say that Conor McGregor is a better competitor,” Sonnen said. “I really don’t know that I can say that. I don’t know that he’s got his eye on the ball, and he’s got the eye of the tiger.

“Now it is one of those things where it’s a little bit of speculation, right? A guy returning from a layoff is very hard, particularly to go into five rounds, a guy returning with a leg injury and going into five rounds.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie