Sonnen says McGregor is selling something more than entertainment.
People always miss what Conor’s selling. He’s selling trash-talk’ or ‘he’s selling entertainment.’ Well you’re close. I mean, there is some trash-talk there and he’s definitely entertaining. But if you could only use one word, he’s selling confidence. That is the number one thing. Anybody, any weight class, and it’s one thing to say it. It can be entertaining when a guy says it and goes and cuts a promo. But when you got a guy that walks the walk. You got a guy that will take on Jose Aldo, who hadn’t lost in ten years. You got a guy that will change weight class and go up to 170 and take on Diaz, go down to 155, world championship and take on Eddie, switch sports and take on [Floyd Mayweather]. It’s confidence that he’s selling. It’s confidence that’s on display. It’s a confidence that so many people wish they had. By so many, I mean everybody. Everybody wishes they had this kind of confidence and then go out and try to follow through on their dreams.
Former UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen, says McGregor’s next fight will be a rubber fight with Diaz:
I think [McGregor] is going to fight in the UFC. A little inside information, I think it’s Nate Diaz next.
McGregor says he is open to settling the score with a third deciding fight with Diaz by year’s end, recently saying:
I have certainly many contenders in the mixed martial arts game. I have a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz that’s sitting there, I have options.
Sonnen says McGregor making it past the first 30 seconds against Mayweather will discredit the sport of boxing.
The public dismisses boxing as a fringe, fake, and phoney sport, and the public may just be right. The fact that you can take a guy that has never lost in professional boxing and put him in there with a guy who has never done professional boxing and have a lot of people – including people in the industry of boxing – think that the guy who has never done it is going to beat your undefeated greatest of all time is an embarrassment for the sport. If Conor McGregor lasts 30 seconds with Floyd Mayweather it discredits boxing, and I think he will. If Conor McGregor makes it out of one round with Floyd Mayweather, the entire sport of boxing is a fake, phoney myth. And that’s the kind of pressure they’re under.
Sonnen tweets that the McGregor-Mayweather fight is definitely taking place.
He later says he was told the information from a ticketing source:
For some reason, both of these fighters have said they’re fighting, but no reporter has announced it. Now I have information from someone higher than that, which is a guy at a ticketing company where the ‘build’ was sent in…In that industry, [a build] is when you submit to the ticketing company, what you want, what your card is, what your date is — essentially, your schematics, this is what the arena layout is going to look like. That’s called the build, that’s the first step to lining up your tickets. The build was submitted, and I got it right from the ticketing guy. Whether that information is accurate or not, I believe it is. I believe it is enough that I reported it, I tweeted it. I will tell you again, I don’t know how to use any clearer language, Conor and Floyd are going to fight.
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.
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.