Chael Sonnen is diving into the mindset of Charles Oliveira leading up to his UFC 280 fight with Islam Makhachev.
Chael Sonnen never holds back his opinions. During his fighting days, he was very outspoken and could get into the heads of his opponents. His trash-talking was some of the best ever in the sport of MMA and now that he is retired from fighting, he makes his living off of his talking. This week, Sonnen is setting his focus on the upcoming UFC lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev.
The former champion Oliveira will be looking to regain his lost title by beating the undefeated Makhachev at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 22. Oliveira did not lose his title inside the cage, instead he was stripped of the belt after failing to miss weight for his last fight against Justin Gaethje. Oliveira has not lost in 11 fights but according to Sonnen, Oliveira is still a betting underdog in this title matchup.
Chael Sonnen explains that Oliveira’s underdog status is fueling his motivation
Sonnen gave his insights into the mindset of Oliveira coming into this fight. He feels that the former champion is frustrated by being a betting underdog.
“Charles Oliveira has taken this in a very interesting direction. I love when guys do this. When you start getting a guy talking about, Charles is a three-to-one dog by the way,” Sonnen said on YouTube. “He’s a three-to-one underdog and it infuriated him. That is what a competitor is. He is bothered by you, by the betters, he truly is.”
Sonnen went on to say that Oliveira has taken an interesting approach to his media obligations so far. He has been complaining about the location of the fight more than anything else. The event will be held in Abu Dhabi, despite Oliveira’s pleas to fight in Brazil. Makhachev is from Russia but has very strong ties to Abu Dhabi. Oliveira feels this is an advantage to his opponent. As the former champion, Oliveira was hoping for the home advantage. Unfortunately, the UFC had not been to Brazil since the onset of the pandemic and doesn’t plan to get back there until January.
“He is complaining about the fact that he’s going to Abu Dhabi, that is interesting to me,” Sonnen said. “And he laid out his case. This is where Islam is huge. This is where he is sought after, this is where the money is. This is where his demographic is. Don’t bring a piece from Dagestan. If we’re fighting in Abu Dhabi, we’re fighting on his home soil.”
Oliveira has been sending some shots Makhachev’s way in the lead-up to the fight, but for the most part, he is pretty quiet, unlike Sonnen. The truth is that Oliveira is no longer holding the belt, but if he can win against the tough Makhachev, then maybe he can find himself as the betting favorite next time around and could be fighting in Brazil.
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