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.
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.
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.