Conor McGregor ‘mistake’ ahead of Donald Cerrone fight outlined by Chael Sonnen

Conor McGregor has made a mistake by agreeing to face Donald Cerrone over five rounds up at welterweight in his comeback fight, according to Chael Sonnen.

The former two-weight UFC champion is set to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon a year-and-a-half on from his crushing defeat at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Yet McGregor will be jumping up to 170lbs when he locks horns with Cerrone on January 18, a weight he has only fought at in memorable battles with arch-rival Nate Diaz.

He slumped to a shock defeat in his first encounter with Diaz, before gaining revenge by toppling his arch-rival on points the second time around.

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The Irishman is widely expected to get the better of Cerrone in Las Vegas, but ESPN analyst Sonnen believes ‘Cowboy’ actually has more ways to win the contest.

“One thing I thought got a little lost was that this is happening at welterweight and I think that is significant,” he told ESPN.

“As soon as that came out the line in Vegas dropped from Conor McGregor being a 1/5 favourite to a 1/2.5 favourite.

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“At 170lbs, Conor is batting at 50 per cent; he's fought there twice, won once and lost once, both against Nate Diaz.

“Conor McGregor, who is striking-heavy and not known for ground-and-pound or submission, has, on paper, one way to win this fight and that is to knock Donald Cerrone out.

“Conor doesn't even do very well when a fight goes to a decision – and now, to knock a guy out who has an extra 15lbs is the biggest talking point of the fight.

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“It definitely helps Cerrone; I wouldn't call it a mistake but here is the mistake – not only is at 170lbs but it’s a main event, you have a guy coming into a five-round fight who has openly admitted twice [that he gets fatigued].

“Now he's coming in after all this time off and he's walking into a main event for five rounds with a guy who likes to do what Conor does.

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“Donald Cerrone has more ways to win this fight and people don't appreciate that if he can survive the first two-and-a-half minutes, his chances of winning this fight go up.

“Conor now has two things against him; 170lbs and five rounds – after a lay-off.”

McGregor is looking to bounce back from his fourth MMA defeat back in October 2018, with Khabib forcing him to tap out after four rounds.

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Nevertheless, the main talking point of the event came directly after Khabib claimed victory, as the Russian reacted by leaping out of the Octagon and attacking McGregor’s jiu-jitsu coach Dillon Danis.

McGregor was also ambushed by a member of Khabib’s entourage when his back was turned in ugly scenes that saw both men handed fines and suspensions by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

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