Chael Sonnen breaks down UFC 229 press conference, Khabib taking ‘moral high ground’

LAS VEGAS – Chael Sonnen is picking Khabib Nurmagomedov to defeat Conor McGregor in Saturday’s UFC 229 headliner. The events of Thursday’s UFC 229 pre-fight press conference didn’t change that.

Sonnen had no problem with Nurmagomedov (26-0 MMA, 10-0 UFC) leaving early and taking the “moral high ground,” but he also believes it was somewhat unnecessary since the promotion had penciled in a one-hour time slot for the event with McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), who arrived 27 minutes late. In Sonnen’s mind, though, the unique situation only added to the intrigue.

Sonnen, a former multi-time UFC title challenger and Bellator heavyweight grand prix semifinalst, is working the event as an analyst for ESPN. The biggest letdown of the press conference for most was the lack of a face-off between Nurmagomedov and McGregor, but Sonnen said it didn’t take any of the luster away from the fight.

“We’re in too deep now,” Sonnen said. “These guys have come face to face, they’ve seen each other through windows, they’ve seen each other through television sets, they’ve seen each other at press conference. I’m all for meeting up. I think that’s what the company brought them here for today, but no (it doesn’t take away form the fight). Truth be known, we had some fun. It was a good day.”

UFC 229

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