Earlier this month Conor McGregor and the UFC’s anti-doping agency got into a bit of an online feud after McGregor implied he had something in the works with USADA to allow him to bypass the six-month testing period prior to returning to the cage.
Those statements then forced USADA to release a statement of their own, essentially refuting McGregor and that didn’t sit well with the former two-division champion.
Now former MMA fighter Chael Sonnen is weighing in on the drama.
“So Conor McGregor and USADA. Now I got to tell you this is one of my favorite fights. It’s a fight that I was not expecting. It’s a fight I didn’t know was going to happen,” he said on his YouTube Channel.
Chael then went on to describe the feud and what exactly happened.
“Public opinion does matter. You come out, you do a little bit of PR but I’m sharing with you because Conor McGregor came out after USADA said this and he said, Man, I’m sick of these guys. Every time I say something, they come on the back of it and they make me look like a liar. First up. I’m not a liar,” he said. “Everything I told you is true. And secondly, USADA don’t go head to head with me because in an equation of what is important here, you’re not it. Well, Connor’s pretty damn close on that.”
He continued on.
“And that’s Conor’s point. Conor said you don’t want to go head to head with me. Now, in most worlds, Conor would be the A-side of this. Well, I’m sure Conor understands and it’s more ballyhoo, but I just wanna make sure that you guys understand they’re under contract,” he said. “They’ve got the UFC under contract, there’s gonna be $10.4 million that’s going to change hands and athletes are going to be tested 365 days by USADA until this expires. That’s just the truth. So, Conor is not gonna be able to, no matter how big he is, to do a workaround. He’s not going to be able to get a one-off. He’s not going to be able to fight somewhere where USADA doesn’t have jurisdiction.”
From there Sonen went on to back USADA, at least when it came to their statement on McGregor. He believes that McGregor lied about some one-off deal.
“I’ll tell you in all fairness. I thought that he was, I don’t love to use the word lying,” he said. “By the way, people are quick to throw out lying, you say left and someone says right, one of you is lying. Well, not necessarily, let’s start with one of us is wrong.”
He then clarified what he meant.
“I mean, you gotta understand that if something was explained to Conor and Conor goes out and says it to Ariel and Conor believes it to be true. If you were to really look at the fine print and find out which side is right. They should know and they probably do and when they do come out continually to whatever Conor says and they say something different, it does make it look like he’s lying. I’m not upset if he was,” Sonnen said. “I think he’s got the right to tell his story. I think he’s got the right to have fun. I think he’s got the right to go on Arial and entertain.”
Sonnen also explained that if McGregor thinks he’s going to compete in the UFC without testing through USADA, he’s kidding himself.
“I like the battle. Now, that’s not gonna end well for McGregor,” he said. “If he thinks he’s gonna fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and sidestep USADA, that’s not going to end well. However, it’s not gonna be the greatest thing for the United States Anti-Doping Agency. If they want to go head to head with the biggest mouthpieces in the sport, right? Eventually, you’re gonna get guys like me, you’re gonna get enough of me’s that come out and say you’ve never helped anybody.”
Though Sonnen doesn’t believe that McGregor will get away without USADA, he does see a bad end for the agency as well.
“And the first step and the first swing to this fight have been thrown and it’s been thrown by the sport’s biggest star,” he said. “Biggest star came out and told them they had better quit speaking up. Biggest star came out and said, you’re making me look like a liar, and I’m not. They have a history of responding but they didn’t respond to that.”