Chael Sonnen has an interesting take on what should come next in the UFC’s middleweight division. Initially, it was expected that former 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker would take on Paulo Costa at UFC 284 from Australia. However, Costa seems to be in the midst of a contract dispute with the UFC and has noted he did not officially sign anything to fight Whittaker in February.
With that being said, Whittaker is now left without an opponent, and according to Sonnen, he thinks the ordeal should be treated as a victory for Whittaker. With that being said, Sonnen believes that Whittaker should now get the nod to take on newly-crowned middleweight king Alex Pereira next.
Chael Sonnen calls for Robert Whittaker vs. Alex Pereira
“Robert Whittaker was willing to do it and didn’t get it,” Sonnen said. “I (am one) who believes in a forfeiture clause, I believe that Whittaker just won. I believe we now have our fight, it’s Pereira vs. Whittaker. That’s what I believe. That’s how I see it.”
With that being said, Sonnen believes that the UFC will ultimately go in a different direction. Likely an immediate rematch between Pereira and Israel Adesanya. Pereira upset Adesanya to win the middleweight crown back at UFC 281 in November. It marked the third time the pair have met in a combat sports environment. After such a dominant run at middleweight for Adesanya, it’s hard to deny him an immediate rematch after the defeat.
Of course, if Whittaker does ever get the chance to challenge Pereira inside the Octagon, Sonnen believes “The Reaper” would actually be the betting favorite.
“Robert Whittaker is not going to pounce on the opportunity, believe me,” Sonnen said. “Robert Whittaker is going to do nothing with this opportunity, but if somebody does it for him, he would be willing to step in there and fight Alex Pereira and Robert Whittaker would be the favorite at DraftKings if that line opened up today, and that’s a really interesting match.”
Quotes via MMA Junkie