Former two-division UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen has assessed a perceived lack of interest in the upcoming rematch between Jiří Procházka and Glover Teixeira.
At UFC 275 this past June, Procházka secured his place on the light heavyweight throne in just his third outing under the promotion’s banner. Having knocked out Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes to earn a shot at gold, “Denisa” unseated Teixeira from top spot in Singapore with a last-gasp submission.
While he initially outlined his plans to defend the belt against fellow European Jan Blachowicz in what has the potential to be one of the continents’ biggest fights to date, the Czech Republic native adjusted his plans and set his sights on a more convincing victory over Teixeira.
With that, the pair will run it back in the main event of UFC 282, set for December 10 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
By all accounts, the UFC were hoping for Procházka’s rematch with Teixeira to fill the event’s co-main slot. According to reports, the promotion had made enquiries about having Jon Jones’ return headline the card.
But with planned opponent Stipe Miocic seemingly not prepared to make the date, the light heavyweight title clash was confirmed as the main event. And according to one fighter-turned-analyst, that hasn’t been received well by the masses.
Sonnen: Procházka/ Teixeira Is The “Most Resisted Rematch” Ever
During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Sonnen looked ahead to the UFC’s final pay-per-view of 2022 and the championship matchup set to top the card on December 10.
Previously, following Procházka’s call for a second meeting with Teixeira on social media, Sonnen suggested that the other contenders in the division would have a lot of ammo to fire at the champ, including questions on why he’s calling out a 42-year-old whom he’s already beaten.
With the rematch now confirmed, the former middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger has shared a somewhat similar sentiment, this time relating to the fanbase.
According to Sonnen, nobody is interested in seeing the pair of light heavyweight elites run it back six months on from their memorable first bout. He claimed that the fact Jones’ absence has drawn more headlines than the confirmed title fight itself is evidence to that.
“Jon Jones is not fighting Stipe (at UFC 282)… There are no other headlines this week out about that card. There is a world title fight that night… it is the most resisted world championship fight, the most resisted rematch, in UFC history,” Sonnen said. “The promotion did not want to make it, and you guys didn’t ask them to… There is a world title fight that has not been discussed at all, but Jones not being there was.
“Here I am talking about a world championship fight that none of you are interested in. The promotion did everything they could — get Anthony Smith that W, get (Magomed) Ankalaev over with the audience… they did everything they could to not make the damn match,” Sonnen continued. “It’s an awesome fight, two killer competitors… but I played that game before and none of you wanted to hear.”
While the hype for the rematch may not be there, many suggested that Teixeira is deserving of a rematch following his defeat earlier this year. With a minute left in the bout, the Brazilian was up on the scorecards and seconds away from a successful defense before a rear-naked choke signaled the end of his short reign.
The finish brought to an end an absolute barnburner, which had many branding it one of the best 205-pound title fights in history. With that, high interest or not, the rematch later this year may well produce fireworks again.
Do you agree with Chael Sonnen’s take on Jiří Procházka vs. Glover Teixeira 2?
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