Chael Sonnen believes that Charles Oliveira is trying to dismiss a potential fight against Islam Makhachev but is accidentally making everyone more interested in the bout. The consensus is that former UFC lightweight champion Oliveira could next face Makhachev for the vacant UFC lightweight title.
Regardless, the Brazilian recently asserted that he’s much better than Makhachev in every aspect of the MMA realm. Oliveira added that the Dagestani fighter is yet to beat an elite opponent. The former champion also revealed that if it were up to him, he’d face MMA megastar Conor McGregor for the vacant lightweight title.
Oliveira insinuated that although McGregor is currently an easier matchup than Makhachev, fighting the legendary Irishman would fetch him a huge payday and be incredibly significant from a legacy perspective. In an edition of Beyond the Fight, Sonnen addressed this and stated:
“What’s happening on accident is – Here is how Oliveira is trying to get out of the Islam fight. He’s trying to get out of the Islam fight by convincing the world of the outcome. So, he’s trying to convince you all that not only would he beat Islam, he would beat him easily, and nobody wants to read a book that they know the ending to. It’s effective. It’s a good, solid strategy, logically. In principle, I can see it. In practical matters, it’s having the opposite effect.”
Sonnen continued about how Oliveira's plan wasn't working for him either:
“He’s trying to get us to dismiss and be uninterested in the fight by telling us the outcome. Very effective. It’s having the opposite effect on me.”
Chael Sonnen suggested that despite Islam Makhachev being a huge favorite to defeat Charles Oliveira, both fighters are capable of beating one another, making the matchup intriguing.
Watch Sonnen address a possible Oliveira-Makhachev fight in the video below:
Chael Sonnen is confused about Charles Oliveira’s pursuit of a Conor McGregor ‘money fight’
Many believe that Charles Oliveira will face Islam Makhachev for the lightweight belt before the end of the year. Meanwhile, former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor is reportedly set to return from his ongoing injury hiatus in February/March 2023.
On that note, a few days back, Chael Sonnen asserted that he was confused by Charles Oliveira’s demands for a ‘money fight’ against McGregor.
Sonnen explained that Oliveira is no longer a UFC champion and likely won’t get pay-per-view points. Resultantly, Oliveira’s pay would be the same irrespective of whom he fights. Sonnen said:
"Only the champion gets the championship clause which Oliveira is speaking of in terms of pay-per-view points. It won't matter if it's a big or a small fight. The way his contract works, he's getting a flat fee."
Watch Chael Sonnen address Oliveira wanting to fight McGregor in the video below: