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Chael Sonnen Encourages Volkanovski to Vacate Featherweight Title Before Accepting Rematch with Islam Makhachev | MiddleEasy

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“As far as what’s going on at 55, man, I don’t know. It’s a really tough spot. Islam himself deserves a match, but Islam himself has done nothing to get himself a match,” Sonnen added.Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez🔥

Greatest Featherweight Of All Time💯pic.twitter.com/JFZj98X6Sr

If Makhachev is truly desperate for a match, he could also find himself a potential opponent later this month following the highly anticipated clash between Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier at UFC 291. With both men still hanging around the top of the division, an impressive showing by either man could put them in pole position for a relatively short-notice title opportunity.
— 🔥 (@FireMMAVid) July 10, 2023

With Charles Oliveira Out of a Proposed October Title Fight with Makhachev, Alexander Volkanovski May Swoop in and Take the Rematch

However, fans have been clamoring for a rematch between Volkanovski and the Dagestani destroyer, Islam Makhachev. The pair of P4P greats delivered a Fight of the Year contender at UFC 284 in February that saw Makhachev escaping with a unanimous decision despite the general consensus favoring ‘The Great’ after five rounds of action. The closely-contested nature of the scrap and the somewhat controversial decision left plenty of room for a rematch and all signs point toward that bout happening in Abu Dhabi this fall. 

“That fight was very close, but Volk, win or lose, was going to wake up a world champion the next day. It’s a very unique spot and it’s hard to feel that pressure and it’s hard to feel that drive. You’ve got to burn your boats to some degree. I think it was a mistake and I don’t think that he should make it twice. I think if he wants to go to 55, I wish him well. I’d love to see him up there, but I think he needs to leave the belt behind at 45.”

Chael Sonnen believes that if Alexander Volkanovski is going to run it back with Islam Makhachev for the UFC lightweight championship, he needs to bite the bullet and leave the 145-pound title behind. 

Alexander Volkanovski once against solidified himself as perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world at UFC 290, scoring a third-round TKO against interim titleholder Yair Rodriguez in the evening’s main event. Determined to fight one more time before 2023 comes to a close, analysts are already speculating who ‘The Great’ could square off with this fall. One very likely scenario would pit Volkanovski against streaking featherweight contender Ilia Topuria. 

Published on July 11, 2023 at 4:05 pm

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