In his most recent podcast, Sonnen talks about the ongoing rift between the UFC and McGregor, noting the UFC’s power to make stars.
When Randy Couture retired and Tito Ortiz got into his pissing match and stepped aside, they were left with absolutely no stars and they created one overnight called Andrei Arlovski…His skills were not great but he had the look and he had the marketing machine behind him and the next thing you knew, not only was he ranked #1, but he was also selling out arenas. The point I’m trying to make, and Conor may not know this story, they created something out of nothing overnight, it literally took them just over a week to do it…Tito was soon forgotten. Tito – who was the biggest star at the time – could not get an appearance at the local country fair and the same thing can happen with Conor. And you think that it can’t, but it can, and it can happen overnight. If he wants to puff and if he puffs a little too hard. If in the office he becomes too hard to deal with and they can’t get something done. It’s going to be game over, and it’s going to be game over in record time. And that’s what he doesn’t understand. He thinks he’s going to come on shows like this [podcasts] or go on Sports Centre and tell his side, he will not. When we all get the email that says ‘he’s out and this is who’s in’, that’s who we are then going to talk to…It’s like, ‘hey man, as good as you think you are, not only is there a guy who can beat you, we know who the guy is and we will put his name opposite your’s once you force us to and we will show you, time and time again, who is in control here and who really set this table.
Sonnen, who faces Tito Ortiz in the main event of this weekend’s Bellator card, says new MMA rules saying that if a fighter had one hand on the canvas he was to be considered a grounded fighter, make the sport more dangerous. The rule:
Any part of the body, other than a single hand and soles of the feet touching the fighting area floor. To be grounded, both hands palm/fist down, and/or any other body part must be touching the fighting area floor. A single knee, arm, makes the fighter grounded without having to have any other body part in touch with the fighting area floor. At this time, kicks or knees to the head will not be allowed.
Now that the rule is in effect, Sonnen say that it could lead to fighters picking up unnecessary damage.
I don’t know them all yet. I know what a grounded fighter is, which makes the sport extremely more dangerous. One thing this sport did not need was more danger. It’s a pretty wide-open combat sport. I was very surprised that rule got passed, I was very surprised that anybody suggested it.
Sonnen says he has been hearing rumors that McGregor is pushing for a Mayweather fight, and that Dana White is open to the idea.
He does have a contract the [UFC]. Ultimately, he will need Dana White to be on board with whatever he wants to do as long as he is under contract with the UFC. Now, what Conor is telling people, and we are only as good as the information we are given, but Conor is telling people privately, he hasn’t gone public with it yet, but he is saying, ‘Look, with a win here tonight, should I beat Eddie, I’m going to take some time off and I’m going to do everything I can to get the boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.’ Allegedly. Now, again, the only person that can sign off on this contractually is Dana White – to come in and co-promote. Allegedly, rumour, Dana White is a little bit more open to the idea – to at least hearing what it is that he wants to do, instead of having a closed door. So, leave the speculation at that. I think there is some legs to it myself.
In response to UFC fighters who have been saying McGregor has been receiving favorable treatment, Sonnen says the UFC has a historic opportunity:
We’ve got fighters in weight classes that have no standing in this matter … and they’re saying, ‘You should strip him. Got to strip him, got to move that division on.’ I can’t believe that people don’t understand this that are in the industry. There is a historic opportunity if Conor should beat Eddie Alvarez. The opportunity there is that he will be the first guy in history to hold two world championships simultaneously in the UFC. It has never happened before. So if you’re the UFC and you, through the power of the pen, take one of those belts away, you also lose the opportunity that so much media is running with to have the historic evening. If you wait to strip him or make a decision in that weight class after the fight, you preserve that opportunity. The UFC can’t come out and say that. They can’t come out and say, ‘Well, there’s actually a marketing opportunity for us.’ Then they lose it.
Attar talks with Sonnen about McGregor’s alleged knockout during sparring.
It’s BS. If you go to Coach John Kavanagh’s page, I love that he posted a picture of him wearing a unique looking hat, sand said ‘I want to believe,’ and it reminded me of Mork & Mindy. They are false and definitely not true.
Speaking to Sonnen on his podcast, Diaz says he doesn’t expect an immediate rematch.
I don’t know [what’s going on behind the scenes]. Remember last time they rushed to his house the next morning and said he was all obsessed or whatever? I was pretty crazy about it for a couple of days, but it’s whatever to me, you know? I won that fight and I’m not like jumping for joy already for round three. I think I beat him twice, so it’s 2-0 as far as I’m concerned. If they want to do it down the road, I don’t know – I’m not in a hurry. I believe they know too, because he’s got a smart coach on his hands. Him and his coach know what happened in the fight and they’re not stupid, so I think they are going to do what they can to return to his division and get onto a new stage.
Sonnen says McGregor’s decision to fight Diaz before returning to the 145 class, could be because he wants to have an excuse for losing.
Jon [Jones] said, ‘every fight I have, I go party the week of so that I can lose. And when I lose I can always say, ‘well yeah, but I didn’t it serious I was partying the week of.’ And he was so good it didn’t happen, but that’s how he’d feather his nest and he said, ‘I’m not giving myself that out anymore – I’m taking it serious, I’m training hard, no built-in excuses.’ And that was just Jon’s approach. But the reason why I bring him up is that you see how good and how dominant he is, even he would have those built-in excuses. So yes, that is a real thing. Conor could have a little bit of that…At the end of the day, it’s a guy who had seven minutes of energy fighting in the same weight class, doing the same thing against the same opponent three months later man. It doesn’t matter what you do, you might be able to stretch seven minutes, you train, you buckle down and then all of a sudden you’re good for seven-and-a-half. Seven forty if you’re lucky. You cannot go put 23 minutes (in the gas tank) it doesn’t work that way.
Sonnen defends McGregor after Nate Diaz’s accusation that McGregor was “full of juice”.
First off, Conor’s not on anything. I’m a guy that lived in that world. When a guy takes his t-shirt off, I can tell you exactly what he’s taking. I can look at his traps, I can look at his pecs; his definition. I know what he has taken and how he got to look that way. Conor’s clean. He’s got great genetics. He’s got good DNA going through his system. He’s just one of those guys that got lucky.
Sonnen talks to MMAMania about CM Punk’s upcoming UFC debut and teases that he knows who his first opponent will be.
Well, he is not a bottom-tier guy, I can tell you that. You will know who he is and he will be a pretty-heavy favorite to win. Punk is not going to come in as the favorite.
Sonnen is a guest on Talk is Jericho to discuss UFC, loving professional wrestling and trying out for WCW. Jericho:
UFC legend Chael Sonnen is the best trash talker in the UFC/MMA world… maybe even in sports, period! And he’s giving lessons on Talk Is Jericho! He’s also chatting about his love of pro-wrestling, Ric Flair, Y2J, and Anderson Silva (WTF?)! He’s got stories about his one-time WCW tryout, the details on his 2-year worldwide suspension from fighting, his future plans which may or may not include WWE, and why you might want to pay extra attention to the 2016 Olympic games! Chael is running his mouth… in the best possible way with Y2J! Check it out now!