Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira is around the corner. Before the two are even able to compete for the vacant lightweight title, Chael Sonnen is already urging the winner to call out Alexander Volkanovski.
Despite only having one ranked win in his past five fights, the Russian is considered by many to be the ultimate risk to everyone at 155lbs. His relentless pressure grappling, ability to tie up submissions and underrated striking game have caused problems for everyone he has fought so far.
In a recent video, Chael Sonnen explained why, whoever wins the upcoming title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, they must respond to Alexander Volkanovski and welcome him into the UFC lightweight division.
"There is another side to this which is straight-up PR. You cannot get called out by a littler guy and tell him no. You have a hard time calling out a littler guy, [but] when he does it, when he comes to you, when he comes and tells the world, 'I want a piece of this guy,' you must answer for that... And when a guy who holds a higher ranking than you, but comes in five kilograms less, calls you out... You must answer for that."
Alexander Volkanovski put on an all-time performance during his trilogy bout against Max Holloway earlier this year. 'The Great' now fancies his chances at moving up in weight and competing for the title in a second division.
Check out what Chael Sonnen believes Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira must do after a win at UFC 280 in the video below.
Is Alexander Volkanovski next for Islam Makhachev or Charles Oliveira?
Although the lightweight division is stacked with impeccable fighters, it's hard to deny the #1 pound-for-pound fighter a matchup which he has quite clearly earned.
Since arriving in the UFC back in 2016, the Australian has gotten his hands raised in all of his 12 octagon appearances. Each performance has looked better than the last.
'The Great' brings a unique striking style into the cage and manages to mix all facets of the sport together well. He will have a tough task ahead of him if he eventually competes against one of the two men in the UFC 280 headliner.