“I think Colby needs to go up to 185” – Chael Sonnen believes Israel Adesanya desperately ‘needs’ Colby Covington at middleweight


Former UFC fighter and ESPN analyst Chael Sonnen believes that a fight between Israel Adesanya and Colby Covington is what the UFC needs to liven the stagnant middleweight division

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is a force to be reckoned with currently. He is on a career trajectory, similar to the P4P king of the UFC, Kamaru Usman- lapping guys in their respective division. But what sets Usman’s case apart is the idea of a few more exciting fights in the welterweight division, unlike Izzy’s division which in all honesty is getting static.

Chael Sonnen is one of the legends in the world of MMA and is part of Submission Underground too
Mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen attends the UFC 170 event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on February 22, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The situation is almost reminiscent of Anderson Silva’s prime and dominance of the middleweight throne, which somewhat made the division motionless. Until he met his match in Chael Sonnen, who trash-talked Silva like never seen before. Although not the toughest competition that the Brazilian faced on paper, Sonnen worked his way into the fight by playing mind games and trash vilifying whenever he got a chance. In doing so he put up one of the most difficult fights for Silva in their first encounter and even landed a rematch.

Chael Sonnen sees similar potential in the Adesanya- Covington narrative.

“There was once a fighter named Anderson Silva, and everybody knew how great he was but Anderson had a hard time drawing attention, but only because people thought they knew how the movie was going to end,” Sonnen said on The Chael Sonnen Show (h/t MMA Fighting). “He finally got a counterpart that captivated the imagination of the world to think, ‘Wait a minute, this guy could actually beat him.’ I think that ‘Izzy’ is that good. I think that Izzy needs that.

“I think [Colby Covington] needs to go up to 185,” Sonnen continued. “Look, Colby has called out three guys in the last two weeks: He, of course, called out Kamaru Usman; he called out Israel Adesanya; and he called out Dustin Poirier. Now you’ve got to understand, the one thing those three guys have in common is they all have world championship belts somewhere on the mantle at home. These are hard callouts by ‘Chaos,’ but ‘Chaos,’ who’s obviously a No. 1 contender, does not get a fight for a championship. It’s a tough spot.

Sonnen adds by saying, “And quite frankly, nobody needs Colby as bad as Izzy Adesanya. I don’t know if Israel is aware of that yet, but he’s starting to fight people that aren’t doing their job in the media, that aren’t bringing the attention, that aren’t helping the brand and making the marquee fight as big as it could be. I think if Izzy stood back and saw what Colby has to offer, that’s gonna be a partner that he would like to do business with.”

The idea of the fight is appealing, given the star-power of Israel Adesanya and the heckling nature of Covington.

Chael Sonnen blasts the UFC middleweight division for letting Colby Covington run over them

Prior to UFC 272, polarizing figure, Colby Covington had called out the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for a potential fight in the future. He even claimed that ‘The Last Stylebender’ is easy work for him.

In an ideal scenario, ‘The Chaos’ has to go through the other top dogs in the division before he stakes a claim at the middleweight throne. Covington isn’t the welterweight champion, where a case could have been made for a double championship quest.

Speaking about this on his Youtube channel, Sonnen berated the entire division for their feeble personality. He said, “Colby Covington tried to stake his claim at 185 pounds and you b*tches at 185 let him do it. When a 170lber calls out the king of the division and none of the other guys in the division 1-15, I don’t even know how we’re ranking all the way to 15, none of them said a word. None of them want that heat, none of them wanted Colby, and they knew if Colby came up they’d be in trouble. They didn’t wanna be the one to speak up and tell him to sit down, or the next name coming out of Colby’s mouth would’ve been theirs. So if all the middleweights are just gonna stand aside and let the man walk through, then stand aside and let him walk through.”

More MMA news

Follow our dedicated MMA page for instant MMA news and updates