Before Conor McGregor showed us the true value of a smart mouth, there was Chael Sonnen – a virtually anonymous middleweight who realized no one knew him, so he started talking up a storm of trash. That, plus his ability to kick a modicum of ass, opened the door for Sonnen to take on then-champ Anderson Silva, and their epic verbal back-and-forth made both men a lot of money.
Of course, we haven’t heard much from Sonnen for the past couple years because he got busted taking every performance-enhancing drug known to man. But he’s slowly creeping back!
Sonnen was on Ariel Helwani’s “The MMA Hour” yesterday, rapping about his stint as a coach on TUF Brasil opposite Wanderlei Silva.
“We were in Brazil, and the first day of the filming of The Ultimate Fighter, he quit. He quit the whole show. He goes, ‘I’m done and I’m leaving.’ And that was real. They didn’t show very much of it, but it was a mess. We couldn’t leave the set. We had to get Wanderlei back, but we had Dana (White) on the phone. It was an absolute mess. We had Vitor (Belfort) on the phone, wondering, hey, if this guy really walks, will you get on a plane? It was that [bad]. We thought the show was over.”
“So, I’m trying to be real with him,” Sonnen said. “I’m trying to be as real as I can, because this whole thing is about to blow up. I go, ‘Wanderlei, here’s the script, okay? I’m the bad guy. I insulted this entire nation. You wear the white hat. You get to come in and be the good guy. When you’re bullying me, when you’re physically starting fights with me, when you’re quitting and walking off set and leaving this whole thing hanging, you’re now making me vulnerable. If I’m vulnerable, then I become the good guy. I don’t want to be the good guy. But you do, so enjoy being the good guy. I’ll keep being the bad guy. But stay with me on this, because you’re ruining everything.’
“And [Silva] goes on and on about sportsmanship and honor. It’s like, dude, this isn’t little league baseball, man. You could take all those great little sayings that your coach told you or you got in a fortune cookie and you can shove them up your ass when I’m around, because I don’t care about any of them. This is a fistfight in a steel cage. There’s nothing about honor and sportsmanship. This is about an applause and a paycheck. That’s what it is. So I’m explaining this thing to him, and he’s telling me how to do it. ‘You’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that.’ I just stop and I go: ‘Wanderlei, stop. Between us, just stop. I am the highest paid fighter in the history of the sport. I’m the biggest draw in the history of this sport. Do you really think you should be giving me advice, or should you be taking it? Should you be copying me?’
“He just tore right into me,” Sonnen continued. “This is the dick part. So, I’m on my phone. I’ve got my phone, I bank with Bank of America, I’ve got a mobile app. I log into my Bank of America app and I just show it to him. And I said, ‘do you really think that you should be giving me advice, or should you just come along for the ride and let me take it from here?’
Transgressions aside, Sonnen was entertaining when he was in the mix. I wouldn’t mind seeing him back.