Chael Sonnen made a claim that UFC’s No. 1-ranked lightweight fighter Charles Oliveira shared with him “three times” that he doesn’t want to face UFC’s pound-for-pound king Islam Makhachev.

Oliveira first met the lightweight champ in October 2022 at UFC 280 but lost via a second-round submission. The promotion promised to give the fighter the title shot again, but Arman Tsarukyan entered the title conversation after defeating Beneil Dariush with a terrible KO within the first 64 seconds of their fight. The young fighter then expressed great interest in fighting the champ despite bigger names ahead of him, including Justin Gaethje, whom Makhachev said he wanted to fight instead. Nonetheless, the promotion giant decided to set up Oliveira and Tsarukyan, promising the two the No. 1 contender spot to whoever will win.

However, Sonnen said that fighting the Russian is not actually Oliveira’s plan. The promoter further claimed that the UFC fighter told him about the matter thrice.

“He’s great, he’s proven he’s great, he’s the second-best fighter in the division,” Sonnen shared on his YouTube video. “He has proven he’s the second-best fighter in the division. That’s pretty damn impressive, but what I’m sharing with you, there’s one thing that he does not want. This isn’t Chael’s opinion; I got my opinion from him. He told me this three times, and I just told you guys that he doesn’t want to fight Islam. He doesn’t want to fight Islam to the degree that he has refused to fight Islam.”

The claim follows reports of Oliveira expressing displeasure for having Makhachev as his UFC 280 opponent. Then, the fighter withdrew from his rematch fight against Makhachev at UFC 294, where UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski replaced him. According to reports, the fighter had to back out due to a training injury, but Sonnen claimed that “Do Bronxs” actually turned down the rematch.

Previous articleCormier says Ngannou ‘can get it done’; Hearn affirms Joshua will get ‘dangerous fight’
Next articleJones stresses imminent retirement, explains to Aspinall reason behind bout vs. Miocic