Chael Sonnen Suggests BMF Title Fight if Conor McGregor Withdraws from UFC 303

Sonnen suggests a huge fight in lieu of McGregor at UFC 303.
AP

Former UFC fighter-turned-pundit Chael Sonnen has a fight on his mind in the event that Conor McGregor pulls out UFC 303 on June 30.

UFC 303 News: Michael Chandler Wants New UFC Title for Conor McGregor Fight

The MMA rumor mill has been churning since June 3, when the UFC 303 press conference was canceled last minute. McGregor explained that it was canceled "due to a series of obstacles outside our control," but this hasn't stopped fans from theorizing whether the fight is in jeopardy.

Taking to his Good Guy / Bad Guy podcast on June 3, Sonnen proposed a matchup in the event of a McGregor withdrawal:

"I believe Conor is gonna be opposite Michael Chandler; I'm confident telling you that," Sonnen said. "However, if he's not, Michael Chandler vs. Max Holloway for the BMF [belt] is the fight to book."

Chandler vs. Holloway: Feasible or Not?

Sonnen suggests Holloway vs. Chandler at UFC 303
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While Holloway filling McGregor's void on the top of a major PPV would undoubtedly be very lucrative, it puts him in an interesting position. Holloway's KO of Justin Gaethje at UFC 300 may have made him eligible for contender status in two divisions; 'Blessed' holds a lot of leverage that he may not want to forfeit for another non-undisputed title fight.

UFC 303: Conor McGregor ‘Cold in the Soul’ for Chandler, Toning Down Trash Talk

Holloway is in title talks with featherweight champion Ilia Topuria, who wants the BMF belt on the line if they fight later this year. Many would agree that locking the BMF belt at a championship level defeats its purpose, gimmick or not. Holloway vs. Chandler would be an excellent way to take the belt a few rungs down the ladder.

As it stands, Holloway vs. Topuria might be the biggest fight to make in the UFC this year, not counting anything with McGregor or Jon Jones.

Dana White Alludes to BMF Fight at Vegas Sphere UFC 306

Dana White UFC BMF Belt next fight
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking at the UFC 302 presser, UFC CEO Dana White dispelled any talk surrounding the next BMF title fight. The front-facing UFC boss told reporters, "We're working on a lot of stuff right now; obviously we've got the [Vegas] Sphere coming up... we'll get it figured out."

UFC 303: Michael Chandler Dreams of Shattering Khabib’s PPV Record vs. Conor McGregor

UFC 306 is geared to take place at the Vegas Sphere on September 14. Also known as Noche UFC 2, the event is planned to celebrate Mexican Independence, and should host the trilogy fight between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko.

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Mathew Riddle

MATHEW RIDDLE

Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist  and graphic designer. He joined MMAKO when it was first founded in 2023. Find his work on The Fight Fanatic & Heavy on UFC. He can be contacted on mr@thefightfanatic.com