Former two-division UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen has reacted to Jiří Procházka’s recent revelation surrounding his desired next opponent.
After the dust settled on Procházka’s memorable championship crowning at UFC 275, which saw the Czech star submit Glover Teixeira in Singapore just seconds before the Brazilian was set to secure a successful defense on the scorecards, talk turned to who “Denisa” will put the belt on the line against first.
Despite calls for a rematch from Teixeira, as well as a claim from Anthony Smith ahead of what he sees as a title eliminator versus Magomed Ankalaev, it appeared that the champ was firmly leaning towards a blockbuster European collision with Polish powerhouse Jan Blachowicz.
But on Monday, Procházka revealed a change of heart. In a video posted on Twitter, he announced that he’d decided on Teixeira as the desired foe for his first defense.
According to Sonnen, the decision will be met with some stern questions from light heavyweight contenders.
Sonnen Names Questions That Will Arise From Procházka’s Callout
During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Sonnen reacted to Procházka’s video, and noted the response from Blachowicz, whom “The American Gangster” believes has a solid claim to the next title shot.
“There is a video of Procházka. He says, ‘I would like to fight Glover next.’ … Jan Blachowicz is upset,” Sonnen said. “He said, and I quote, ‘Samurai code was not followed here.’ Blachowicz believes that he is he number one contender, of which he most certainly has a rightful claim to.
“Procházka wanting to fight Glover… I don’t think that’s going to happen… (Rematches) get made quickly. Glover’s time to shine and his time to impress everybody, including the boss, is right then. That light does not get brighter as the weeks go on, it gets dimmer,” Sonnen added. “For Procházka to say that he would like to fight Glover, it’s a tough spot.”
Sonnen went on to send a variety of questions the light heavyweight king’s way that were centered around why he wants to face the challenge of previous rival Teixeira again. He expects those queries to be met with some damning answers from contenders like Anthony Smith soon enough.
“Why do you wanna fight a 42-year-old? You gotta start with that. I get there’s an answer to this, ‘I beat Glover Teixeira, he was the champion of the world three weeks ago.’ There’s still a question,” Sonnen suggested. “Why are you, the young new champion, calling out a 42-year-old? Let’s start with that. Why are you calling out somebody you just beat? Why are you calling out somebody you just finished? Why are you not taking on the young fresh blood who was upset in the first place, Blachowicz?
“I have a feeling when you hear from Anthony Smith soon, he’s going to be something to the effect of, ‘Procházka is already trying to find a fight that’s going to be easier than the number one contender’s match that’s waiting for him,'” Sonnen added.
While Procházka has made his hopes clear, it remains to be seen whether or not the UFC will concur with his Teixeira callout.
Sonnen suggested that the promotion is likely waiting to see how Smith vs. Ankalaev unfolds at UFC 277 later this month, with the fighter-turned-analyst believing that “Lionheart” has had the best strategy when it comes to throwing his name into the championship hat.
Is a rematch with Glover Teixeira the right choice for Jiří Procházka’s first title defense?