Chael Sonnen believes that Islam Makhachev could retire regardless of the outcome at UFC 284

By Zain Bando - January 13, 2023

Chael Sonnen is anticipating that Islam Makhachev could retire regardless of the outcome at UFC 284 in February. Makhachev won the UFC lightweight title with an upset over Charles Oliveira in October of 2022, thus kickstarting a new era at 155 pounds. He’ll defend his lightweight title against featherweight superstar, Alexander Volkanovski.

Khabib Nurmagomedov Islam Makhachev

With the news of Khabib Nurmagomedov completely removing himself from the sport of MMA, per multiple reports, Sonnen believes that it’s entirely possible that one of Nurmagomedov’s pupils could follow suite and find a new chapter in their professional life. With the news surrounding Nurmagomedov, Makhachev will not see the former lightweight champion in his corner come fight night.

“I cannot realistically imagine a scenario where Islam Makhachev, in is career, goes into a bigger match,” Sonnen said. “These matches at this level, you’re talking about a game of inches. Who got more sleep the night before? They’re this close. Who warmed up appropriately? This feels to me like one heck of a matzah ball that just got sat down, that your trainer, mentor, and coach is not going to be training, mentoring, or coaching you. It feels like a big deal.”

Sonnen also mentioned the fact that when Nurmagomedov’s father passed away, he still went out and did his job to defend the lightweight strap. Although both situations are different in a lot of ways, they are the same as well considering that the big piece of the puzzle is missing from the corner and fight camp, he said.

“The way that Khabib dealt with that (absence of Abdulmanap),” Sonnen recalled. “‘I have an obligation, I have already committed to something. I’m gonna see that through, and as soon as I do, I’m done.’ Is that how Islam Makhachev feels? Has Islam got an obligation, he’s gonna go out there and see it through, and when that match is over… It’s big speculation by me. But I’m asking the question.”

Quotes transcribed by MMA News from a brand-new YouTube upload by Sonnen.

That question won’t be answered in a months-time, or maybe it will, but the fact remains that the newly-crowned lightweight champion will face an uphill battle on the day of the fight.

What are your thoughts on Sonnen’s remarks about Islam Makhachev? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, Penn Nation!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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