Chael Sonnen explains why Alex Volkanovski defeating Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 wouldn’t be that big of an upset: “How would that be shocking news?”

By Harry Kettle - January 3, 2023

MMA analyst Chael Sonnen has explained why Alex Volkanovski beating Islam Makhachev shouldn’t be seen as a big upset.

Islam Makhachev, Alexander Volkanovski, UFC 284, UFC

At UFC 284, Alex Volkanovski will challenge Islam Makhachev for the UFC lightweight title. If he manages to pull off the win, he’ll become a two-weight UFC champion after already capturing the featherweight crown.

At this moment in time, ‘The Great’ is ranked as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. However, if Makhachev wins, he’ll almost certainly leapfrog above him.

It’s set to be one of the most important fights of the year. Still, the popular opinion is that Makhachev is the clear favourite, despite the rankings suggesting otherwise.

During a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Chael Sonnen gave his thoughts on Volkanovski being seen as the underdog.

“No, of course [it’s not a big upset],” Sonnen said. “Volkanovski is ranked No. 1, Islam is ranked [No. 2]. You have to turn to the pound-for-pound list. It’s the only list that both guys are on.”

Volkanovski battles the odds

“Volkanovski who’s never lost, Volkanovski who’s ranked higher – how would that be shocking news?” Sonnen said. “If Volkanovski gets beat, not only is that something that’s never happened before [in the UFC], any element of that fight that’s going to go against Volk will be something that’s never happened before.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

The countdown to this fight is going to be incredible with pundits going back and forth on how it’ll play out. Either way, though, it’s going to be one hell of a night in Australia.

Do you agree with Chael Sonnen? Who do you think should be the favourite heading into the contest between Alex Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev? Will the bout go five rounds? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments, BJPENN Nation!


Alex Volkanovski Chael Sonnen Islam Makhachev UFC