Chael Sonnen has argued for Conor McGregor’s case as a UFC title challenger, citing featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski’s recent callout.
After suffering consecutive TKO losses to Dustin Poirier, McGregor has fallen to the ninth spot in the UFC rankings and is presumably out of the title picture. However, Sonnen is of the opinion that McGregor is still eligible for a title shot as he constantly gets called out by current champions.
Sonnen, during an episode of his YouTube show, said:
“How do you tell me a guy like Conor McGregor, how do you tell me a guy that [won] two championships in two different divisions and doing interviews and speaking about [who] they want to contest with… how do you tell me that guy isn’t within the qualification standards of a No.1 contender?”
‘The American Gangster’ then pointed out that Volkanovski validated McGregor’s status as a No.1 contender by calling him out. Sonnen continued:
“Volkanovski, whether he meant to or not, just gave validation as a sitting champion of the world that Conor McGregor can in fact come right back into a world title fight. Now, Volkanovski, of course, is [personally] talking about him. He said, ‘I don’t think Conor is gonna be making featherweight anytime soon.’ But set that aside, you now have a world champion, whether he intended to or not, co-sign the statement that Conor McGregor qualifies for a world title fight upon his return.”
Chael Sonnen reacts to Volkanovski calling out McGregor:
This comes after the Australian titleholder expressed his desire to fight McGregor sometime in the future. However, Volkanovski was forthright with his intentions, saying a big payday is certainly a major reason he wants to fight the Dublin native.
Alexander Volkanovski revealed that fighting Conor McGregor is a dream of his. The Australian has beaten almost every featherweight champion of his era, except McGregor. With that in mind, Volkanovski believes beating McGregor would solidify his status as the greatest 145-pounder in the UFC.
During an interview with James Lynch, Volkanovski said:
“So I’ve taken out the featherweight champs. That’s the only one left, isn’t it? Me, Aldo, Max, and Conor. So it makes a lot of sense. Obviously, it would be a dream and then I’ve taken out all the other champs in my division so that would be incredible. Obviously, you talk about the payday and all that – the circus around it would be great. But at the same time, talking about legacy, he’s undefeated at featherweight, too. That would mean something. [But] I don’t think he’s making featherweight too soon.”
For now, though, Volkanovski is gearing up for his third title defense. He’ll face ‘Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC 273 on April 9.