Chael Sonnen Believes Charles Oliveira ‘Does Not Want To Fight’ Islam Makhachev Again, Wants To See BMF Title Winner Face Makhachev

Chael Sonnen broke down several aspects of the lightweight title picture and how UFC 300 fights could change the situation.

Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen (left), Charles Oliveira (middle), and Islam Makhachev (right)(Images via Instagram @SonnenCh @CharlesDoBronxs @Islam_Makhachev)

Chael Sonnen discussed the lightweight title shot implications revolving around UFC 300. 

Later this week, two matchups featuring 155-pound title contenders will take place at UFC 300 – Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan and Justin Gaethje vs Max Holloway for the BMF throne. There have been questions about which fight will determine Islam Makhachev’s next opponent, with Dustin Poirier also a strong presence in the mix. 

During an episode of Good Guy / Bad Guy, Chael Sonnen had this to say about wanting to see Makhachev fight the winner of Gaethje vs Holloway:

“Islam [Makhachev] versus the winner for the BMF title. I like the idea of combining those things. I love it. If you want to talk Wrestlemania, I’ll go back to [Hulk] Hogan vs ]Ultimate] Warrior. The first time that we saw two guys walk to the ring and they both had a belt. You want to put the BMF champion with the world champion, I’m all for it.”

Chael Sonnen claims Charles Oliveira doesn’t want to fight Islam Makhachev again

Islam Makhachev hasn’t defended his UFC lightweight throne since defeating Alexander Volkanovski in October 2023. The reigning 155-pound champion didn’t fight before Ramadan, extending his layoff before potentially returning in the next few months. During the previously mentioned podcast, Chael Sonnen had this to say about a potential 2024 schedule for Makhachev: 

“[Gaethje] conceded that [he] and Max will not be ready by June. That is why the winner of Arman [Tsarukyan] and [Charles] Oliveira will take that fight in June. Then if [Gaethje] beats Max, [he] will be the one up in November.”

In October 2022, Islam Makhachev submitted Charles Oliveira in round two to claim the vacant UFC lightweight title. They were supposed to meet for a rematch a year later before Oliveira pulled out due to a cut suffered in training. 

Sonnen claimed Oliveira pulling out of the fight, combined with his interest in fighting Conor McGregor, proves ‘Do Bronx’ doesn’t want to fight Makhachev: 

“Dana White isn’t going to have an easy job here. You want to talk about real honest. Oliveira has made it very clear that he does not want to fight Islam. He made it clear before they fought in October of which a paper cut scrapped that one. Oliveira and his manager, all within the last seven days, have given separate interviews saying if they win the fight [at UFC 300], they want Conor McGregor. If you’re sitting around waiting for Conor McGregor, it means that you’re unemployed. If you go ask for Conor when somebody else is trying to give you a world title fight, we can’t force you into something you don’t want to do.”

It should be noted that Dustin Poirier could also fight Islam Makhachev next. ‘The Diamond’ last fought on March 9, defeating Benoit Saint-Denis by second-round knockout. Rumors have begun circulating that Poirier vs Makhachev could face each other within the next few months unless the plans change from the UFC 300 results.

Watch Sonnen’s entire podcast episode below: 

Published on April 9, 2024 at 7:40 pm
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