Sonnen Suspects Holloway’s Recent Comments Were A Negotiation Tactic

Chael Sonnen believes Max Holloway is angling for a rematch with Conor McGregor given his recent comments. Recently, Holloway suggested in an interview with ESPN that it’s possible McGregor never fights again. Speaking on an episode of his podcast, Sonnen explained that Holloway’s recent comments could be part of a brilliant mind game to land…

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Chael Sonnen believes Max Holloway is angling for a rematch with Conor McGregor given his recent comments.

Recently, Holloway suggested in an interview with ESPN that it’s possible McGregor never fights again. Speaking on an episode of his podcast, Sonnen explained that Holloway’s recent comments could be part of a brilliant mind game to land a rematch with the Irishman.

“If anybody has the right to an opinion – who can understand our industry, who can think like a fighter would think, and who could plan the move of a former opponent – I think Max is a great guy to turn to on the whereabouts of Conor McGregor.

Max Holloway, Conor McGregor
Image Credits: MMA Fighting on YouTube & @thenotoriousmma on Instagram

“It’s a very weird concept. Not to mention, what if Max didn’t even mean it? What if that was Max’s way of trying to get his name associated with Conor to try to get a rematch with Conor? I mean, not for nothing, you have to consider all of these things. If a guy is speaking, and he is doing anything less than negotiating, he is a fool. I don’t think Max is a fool.”

Holloway and McGregor have history inside the Octagon with one another. The pair fought back in 2013 — interestingly enough, on a card headlined by Sonnen himself — where McGregor saw his hand raised with a unanimous decision victory.

Both men would eventually go on to make their marks in the UFC’s featherweight division, each winning the division’s title and participating in some of the weight class’ biggest fights of all time.

McGregor has since decided to move up to lightweight, where he seems to have found a new home. Holloway has long teased a permanent move up to 155 pounds but has remained at featherweight for the time being.

Any fight involving McGregor will have to wait a few more months, however. McGregor is recovering from a broken leg suffered in his last outing with Dustin Poirier last year.

What do you make of Chael Sonnen and his belief that Holloway is angling for a rematch with McGregor? Let us know in the comments section below!

Quotes via Sportskeeda

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Sonnen Ponders Why Blaydes Struggles To Gain Support Of Fans & UFC

Former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen has discussed why heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes has had difficulty “getting over” in the promotion. There are few fighters who have split opinion in the MMA fanbase quite like Blaydes, at least among those not involved in any outside-the-cage antics, legal run-ins, or controversial statements. While many have acknowledged…

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Former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen has discussed why heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes has had difficulty “getting over” in the promotion.

There are few fighters who have split opinion in the MMA fanbase quite like Blaydes, at least among those not involved in any outside-the-cage antics, legal run-ins, or controversial statements.

While many have acknowledged the 31-year-old’s immense skill inside the Octagon, which has seen him dispatch the likes of Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, unfortunately for Blaydes’ appeal, his game centers around something that many of the more casual fans don’t enjoy: grappling.

It’s probably safe to say that not many have received as much backlash for a wrestling display as “Razor” Blaydes did at UFC Vegas 3 in 2020. In the main event, the Illinois native landed 14 takedowns on former Bellator and M-1 Global champion Alexander Volkov, which helped him control the contest for five rounds en route to a decision win.

As well as many fans letting their displeasure at the performance known on social media, Blaydes even received criticism from UFC President Dana White, who accused the heavyweight of “talking sh*t” pre-fight and not backing it up in the cage.

While his latest performance, an impressive knockout victory over Chris Daukaus in the UFC Columbus main event earlier this year, likely turned a few more fans on side, it would be fair to assume that Blaydes still has an above-average number of detractors, which is something that confuses Chael Sonnen.

During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, the former two-division title challenger questioned why a fighter who “ticks” most boxes has struggled to establish himself as a favorite, both with the fans and in the eyes of the promotion’s bigwigs.

“Curtis Blaydes, the hardest time getting over with you, the audience. I really haven’t seen anybody in a meaningful period of time that checks as many boxes as Curtis does, and for some reason, there’s resistance,” said Sonnen. “And it’s not just with you, it’s with the media. It’s not just with you, it’s not just with the media, it’s with his opponents. It’s not just with you, it’s not just with the media, it’s not just with opponents, it’s with the boys in the suits on the second floor of the UFC.

“It’s just one of those things and it’s very hard to explain. He’s a handsome guy. He’s not afraid to fight. He fought Ngannou before anybody knew what an Ngannou was. When he found out what an Ngannou was, he demanded to fight him again… Got the same result and has been trying to fight him a third time. We love guys like that,” added Sonnen.

According to the 45-year-old, the negative view of Blaydes among some fans comes down to the fact that his wrestling-heavy game was branded as “boring.”

“Somebody comes along the way and decides they’re gonna call him boring. If you have a national wrestling championship, which Curtis Blaydes does, and somebody decides to go on (a forum) and label you boring, you’re stuck with ‘boring’ for a little bit. That’s the way it works,” said Sonnen.

“Curtis hears this, doesn’t wanna be boring, goes and starts working on his kickboxing. It’s cost him a couple times, go see the Derrick Lewis fight. But in all fairness, his kickboxing’s gotten very good… He’s an excellent fighter,” concluded Sonnen.

Having put his improved standup game on full display last time out, Blaydes will look to impress once again when he makes his second walk to the Octagon of 2022 this summer. On July 23, he’ll be entering enemy territory to face England’s Tom Aspinall in the UFC London main event.

Given Aspinall’s well-rounded game, it stands to reason that even if the headliner hits the ground, Blaydes will receive more resistance than he did against Volkov, whom the Manchester native has also had success against, submitting the Russian in one round in March.

Do you think Curtis Blaydes deserves more respect?

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Chael Sonnen Claims Fans Want To See ‘Fat’ Jon Jones ‘Get Beat’ In Heavyweight UFC Return

Jon JonesPast opponent of former two-time undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen, has claimed that fans and onlookers are hoping to witness the Rochester native suffer defeat in his eventual Octagon return – as he plots a continued move to the heavyweight division. Sonnen, a former title challenger at both the middleweight and […]

Jon Jones

Past opponent of former two-time undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen, has claimed that fans and onlookers are hoping to witness the Rochester native suffer defeat in his eventual Octagon return – as he plots a continued move to the heavyweight division.

Sonnen, a former title challenger at both the middleweight and light heavyweight limits during his tenure with the UFC, challenged Jon Jones for undisputed gold back in April 2013, suffering a first round knockout defeat to the then-dominant division kingpin.

Jon Jones receives even more flak from former opponent, Chael Sonnen

Sharing a stark with Jones inside and outside the Octagon – during and after their respective professional careers, Sonnen has speculated that spectators and fans are hoping to see Jon Jones suffer defeat in an expected heavyweight division excursion. 

“Hey Jon (Jones), what are you weighing?” Chael Sonnen said on his YouTube channel. “What are you weighing? Because this whole heavyweight thing, the whole heavyweight thing was only contingent on us, the audience, believing with some kind of reasonable hope that you’re finally going to get your ass kicked.”

“That’s it,” Chael Sonnen said. “We don’t need to see you at heavyweight. We don’t need to see your fat ass out there. We want to see you get beat. That’s it.” (Transcribed by Middleeasy)  

Sidelined from the Octagon since February 2020, Jones has spent over a period of two years away from active competition, as he struggles to make good on an expected heavyweight division climb.

Last time out, the former Jackson-Wink MMA staple headlined UFC 247 against multiple-time title chaser, Dominick Reyes, narrowly landing a unanimous decision win over the Hesperia native before officially vacating the light heavyweight crown in August of that year.

Linked continually with a return before the culmination of this year, the New York look-see-do fighter has been floated for a potential interim heavyweight title outing against former division pacesetter, Stipe Miocic – amid the absence of current undisputed, Francis Ngannou.

Chael Sonnen Ponders: ‘What If Hawes Had Swung At Cormier?’

Former UFC star Chael Sonnen believes it’s a good thing that middleweight Phil Hawes chose to de-escalate his Octagon exchange with Daniel Cormier this past weekend. Saturday’s UFC Austin card brought fans a lot of things, from a host of knockouts and exciting finishes to impressive debuts and an entertaining main event. But beyond the…

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Former UFC star Chael Sonnen believes it’s a good thing that middleweight Phil Hawes chose to de-escalate his Octagon exchange with Daniel Cormier this past weekend.

Saturday’s UFC Austin card brought fans a lot of things, from a host of knockouts and exciting finishes to impressive debuts and an entertaining main event. But beyond the action, one moment caught the attention of viewers.

On the preliminary card, Cormier, who was on color commentary duty inside the Moody Center, witnessed his protégé Deron Winn suffer a dominant and devastating TKO loss to Hawes.

While Hawes’ performance was initially the main talking point, his decision to set his sights on Cormier as he entered the Octagon for the post-fight interview and accuse the former champ-champ of ‘picking the wrong pony’ quickly stole the headlines.

Ultimately, after a confrontation that saw Cormier instruct “Megatron” to show some respect, the victorious middleweight apologized in the cage before repeating his regret during his appearance at post-fight press conference.

During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Chael Sonnen became the latest to give his take on the matter. And despite the fact he initiated the exchange, the 45-year-old believes that Hawes actually left it looking good.

“One of the high moments over the card that we got to see Saturday was drama between Phil Hawes and Daniel Cormier… Phil Hawes, not only was right, he was perfect,” said Sonnen. “Phil was right for being wrong. He had to be wrong first. But you wanna know who looked good in that story? It was Phil, and I really hope you guys see it that way.”

Sonnen went on to suggest that Hawes is owed some leeway given the fact he was riding high on adrenaline at the time following an impressive victory. But while the 185lber quickly settled down and took Cormier’s advice, Sonnen questioned what would have happened if he’d done the opposite and turned the altercation physical.

“Daniel knew how to come to a young athlete. What would have happened if Phil hadn’t been so gracious?” Sonnen asked. “Don’t forget guys, Phil was high, Phil was out of his mind, he was drunk, Phil was under the influence, he was intoxicated. This is a natural high, an endorsement and an adrenaline release.

“So, when I tell you that Hawes, first off, deserves a bit of understanding, he was out of his mind. He was out of his mind with excitement that he earned, so go a little easy on Hawes. But when he came at Daniel, what if — ’cause Daniel didn’t back away did he? His face went real straight,” Sonnen continued. “Daniel did not like that. Daniel did not like being spoke that way… What if Phil would have swung on him?”

Sonnen: Hawes’ Apology Took “Character”

Fortunately, the retired former two-division titleholder wasn’t required to make a sudden return to Octagon action, and the pair completed the post-fight interview cordially.

According to Sonnen, Hawes’ decision to do that, and reiterate his apology again following the incident, took “character,” and was something he appreciated from the 33-year-old New Jersey native.

“Phil spoke that language and Phil stopped, and Phil was right,” said Sonnen. “He said it again (at the press conference). He was like, ‘I apologize. That is the two-time champion of the world, I was wrong.’ Perfect. That took character, it did…. He came back to (his senses) quickly, he stood on it… He apologized. Phil was right. I appreciated it.”

What did you make of Phil Hawes’ post-fight conduct at UFC Austin?

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Chael Sonnen Claims He Has Become Tom Aspinall’s Official ‘Media Representative’

Chael SonnenFormer UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger, Chael Sonnen has claimed that he will handle media responsibilities and promotion for heavyweight contender, Tom Aspinall’s upcoming UFC Fight Night London main event outing against Curtis Blaydes on July 23. Aspinall, who has so far enjoyed an impressive run of five consecutive victories during his Octagon […]

Chael Sonnen

Former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger, Chael Sonnen has claimed that he will handle media responsibilities and promotion for heavyweight contender, Tom Aspinall’s upcoming UFC Fight Night London main event outing against Curtis Blaydes on July 23.

Aspinall, who has so far enjoyed an impressive run of five consecutive victories during his Octagon tenure, headlined the most recent UFC London edition back in March – stopping former M-1 Global and Bellator heavyweight champion, Alexander Volkov.

Taking main event status for the first time during his UFC tenure, Aspinall managed to slice through Moscow striker, Volkov in dominant fashion – submitting the Russian kickboxing talent with a first round straight armbar

Following the victory, Aspinall, who has been touted as a title challenger at heavyweight – at the very least, was paired with the afornoted, Blaydes for the promotion’s July return to the capital. 

Chael Sonnen claims he will take over promotion duties for Tom Aspinall

And according to Sonnen, who questioned Aspinall’s ability to self-promote himself, he will now take the reigns as his “media representative” for his summer Octagon return.

“I really am going to handle the media going into Tom (Aspinall) for this fight (against Curtis Blaydes),” Chael Sonnen told The Mac Life. “We’re just going to see what happens. If the audience enjoys it, then we will go from there. Tom fights and trains very well but I wanted to give him the attention he deserves.”

“When I see a guy like Tom that’s 12-2 that now only fought a former world champion (Alexander Volkov), he also stopped him, he needs to be getting attention for that,” Chael Sonnen explained. “I’ll remind you of that main event, it was completely sold out with Tom at the top of the bill.” 
According to Sonnen to boot, Aspinall is close to reaching title contender status in the UFC – which would only be bolstered by a victory over Blaydes at The O2 Arena in July.

“Tom gets the credit for that, I don’t know that Tom always goes out and demands that credit though,” Chael Sonnen explained. “I think that Tom is one fight away from being in a world championship spot and not for nothing, they’ve (the UFC) dealt him from the bottom of the deck.”

Sonnen Questions Why Non-Main Event Fighters Ask For More Money

Chael Sonnen has expressed confusion about why fighters that don’t headline shows are also requesting more money from their employers. The former UFC and Bellator fighter took to his YouTube channel and made a point to say that he was “not gonna name names” before discussing what he feels is a serious trend he’s noticed…

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Chael Sonnen has expressed confusion about why fighters that don’t headline shows are also requesting more money from their employers.

The former UFC and Bellator fighter took to his YouTube channel and made a point to say that he was “not gonna name names” before discussing what he feels is a serious trend he’s noticed among some fighters.

“We gotta be real fair with something, okay? Don’t ask for a pay raise again, if you’re not the main event,” Sonnen said. “We gotta understand that. I am hearing people — ones that I’m close with — coming out talking about more money. They’re smart enough to know you get more when you bring in more. They’re smart enough and they’re fair enough business-wise to adhere to that principle. But they will continually talk about how much they’re worth and how much they’re bringing in when they’re not headlining shows. And I’m not sure where that concept is lost.”

Fighter pay is a constant point of discussion and debate within MMA. Some fighters in the UFC feel that their peers aren’t doing enough to maximize their own marketability, while others argue that their job already warrants a higher pay grade than the current norm within the sport.

UFC lightweight Michael Chandler has publically questioned his peers that ask to get paid more. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Whatever their stance on the issue may be, Sonnen seems to think that fighters should have more perspective on what their value is. In typical Sonnen-fashion, he managed to tie-in an example from wrestling where fighters start locally then move to regional and national stages before he brought his point back around to MMA.

“If you’re in co-main events, please stop. Please, don’t tell us what a draw you are if you didn’t outdraw the people on the card that you were just on. If you’re not the last one to leave the locker room that you’re assigned to, we cannot make believe that you’re in command of more money.”

What’s your reaction to Sonnen’s comments about fighters that ask for more money without competing in main events?

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