Monday, August 15, 2022

Sonnen To Volkanovski: You Have Exactly 24 Hours

Chael Sonnen has warned UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski that he’s on the clock when it comes to securing a shot at two-division glory.

At UFC 276 earlier this month, Volkanovski turned the page on the Max Holloway chapter of his career. After building a 2-0 lead in the series courtesy of two tight decisions, the second of which split the fanbase, the Australian made sure that there was no debate over the trilogy, utterly dominating “Blessed” en route to a convincing unanimous decision win.

Having firmly established superiority over Holloway, Volkanovski immediately turned his attention to another venture he’s had his eye on: champ-champ status.

Seven fighters have won gold in two different weight classes in the UFC, a feat that was first achieved by Randy Couture and most recently by Henry Cejudo. For a long time, Volkanovski has expressed his desire to join the illustrious club, a signal of intent that’s also seemingly been given the green light by UFC President Dana White.

But given the featherweight stakes at play this weekend, one former UFC star has told Volkanovski that he needs to pick up the pace if he’s to get what he wants.

Sonnen: Time Is Ticking On Volkanovski’s LW Move

In this Saturday’s UFC Long Island headliner, top-five contenders Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez will collide in what promises to be a blockbuster five-round showdown.

While “T-City” has already attempted to dethrone Volkanovski, falling on the scorecards at UFC 266 last September, “El Pantera” is yet to challenge the Australian, and believes that a victory over Ortega will be enough to secure him the next spot opposite the champ inside the cage.

With that in mind, Sonnen has warned Volkanovski that he has just a day to secure his place in the vacant lightweight championship fight later this year, otherwise he may have a contender to meet at 145 pounds first.

“That time is still ticking. Yair Rodriguez is under the impression that if he beats Ortega, he comes the number-one contender,” Sonnen said during a video uploaded to his YouTube channel. “If that is true and that is within the plans, it’s a guess by me, but I will also guess that Volkanovski will be in attendance. There will be a cameo. There is a likely to be a callout and an announcement by Yair, in front of the world on ABC.

“You can’t run those things back. Volk wouldn’t attempt to run that back, neither would Dana… ‘I know what we told the world here, and it looks like we had this fight made, we’re actually gonna take him away and move him up.’ It gets weird, stop,” Sonnen continued. “If that is the circumstance, and if you’re Volkanovski, you’ve gotta operate as if that is what’s going to happen, so now you’re operating under a timeframe of Saturday at (2PM), you’ve gotta get this done. And I think that he can.”

Of course, given Rodriguez’s previous comments about a preference for long periods between fights, perhaps Volkanovski, who’s consistently desired to be as active as possible, could challenge for the 155-pound belt later this year before defending the featherweight strap against the Mexican.

But the logistics surrounding the Aussie’s champ-champ pursuit certainly becomes more complicated should Rodriguez stake his claim for a shot this weekend, and that’s without even mentioning the noise Josh Emmett is making about his desired opportunity.

Do you agree with Chael Sonnen?

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