Chael Sonnen details the “huge mistake” Justin Gaethje is making in his pursuit for a lightweight title shot

By Susan Cox - October 31, 2023

Chael Sonnen is detailing the ‘huge mistake’ Justin Gaethje is making in his pursuit for a lightweight title shot.

Justin Gaethje, Islam Makhachev, and Charles Oliveira

Islam Makhachev (25-1 MMA) is the current UFC lightweight champion.

The 32-year-old has had back-to-back victories over Alexander Volkanovski (26-3 MMA) in February and again in October of this year.

The question now remains, who is next to try and strip Makhachev of his title?

Justin Gaethje (25-4 MMA), a former interim champ who recently won the ceremonial ‘BMF’ belt after KO’ing Dustin Poirier (29-8 MMA) at UFC 291, is pushing for a shot against Makhachev.

It was during a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, that former middleweight and light heavyweight UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen shared his thoughts on the idea of a Gaethje vs Makhachev fight:

“Justin Gaethje, everybody’s favorite fighter… A BMF champion, so now you’ve Hogan vs. Warrior. You’ve got champion vs. champion, or at least the opportunity. Gaethje is standing up for himself and he is making the argument… When Justin speaks about it, he says, ‘It’s gonna be Islam. Even if I have to wait for Islam to get through Charles first… I’m going to wait.’ I’m just not positive that I like that argument by Gaethje because I’m not positive I’m sold on it.”

Continuing, Sonnen said he feels Gaethje’s approach is flawed, especially when it comes to mentioning Charles Oliveira:

“I would not be doing that if I was Justin Gaethje. (He) has actually, in interviews, said, ‘I lost to Charles.’ He’s told people that. That right there is a huge mistake. It’s a misunderstanding of how many new fans this sport has every single week… I would make the demand, he’s absolutely right. You don’t finish Dustin Poirier and not fight for the belt… (But) anytime anybody asks me about Charles Oliveira, I would make very clear, ‘I am the number one contender. I am the BMF champion. I am next in line.'”

It’s true that Charles Oliveira (34-9 MMA) defeated Justin Gaethje back in December of 2021 at UFC 269.

UFC 294 was to see ‘do Bronx’ fight Makhachev for the title, but Oliveira had to pull out of that fight due to injury. Volkanovski stepped in on short notice, but failed in his attempt to defeat Makhachev.

Do you agree with Chael Sonnen that Justin Gaethje needs to be more aggressive in his quest to fight Islam Makhachev next?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Chael Sonnen Islam Makhachev Justin Gaethje UFC