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Chael Sonnen: I can’t sell out an arena against Lyoto Machida
Former UFC Middleweight and current Light Heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen recently spoke up about his disdain towards the performance of Lyoto Machida at Saturday’s UFC 157. Obviously Sonnen believes that he will wrest the belt from Jon Jones‘ hands on April 27th, but he won’t be giving Machida a shot at the title when he does. Sonnen was seen stating the following at the UFC 157 post show :
“Does Lyoto Machida deserve another title shot? Absolutely. Is he a great fighter? Absolutely. I’m in on the business; I’m in on the pay-per-view (PPV). So is Jon Jones, but neither of us want to fight him because he can’t draw flies. That’s the bottom line. He got booed tonight; he got booed in his last fight. I can’t sellout an arena with you; I can’t sell PPV’s with you. I’m not giving him the shot. Alexander Gustafsson, Gegard Mousasi, step up and I’ll take the winner.”
So Sonnen is focused on the business side of the sport, and with that focus, he may have a valid point. Machida was booed for his highly elusive style on Saturday, and his counterattack-based strategy is not the most fan-friendly one out there. Like Sonnen said, Alexander Gustafsson will soon face off with Gegard Mousasi in a battle of young and talented Light Heavyweights.
While neither one is exactly a household name as of right now, they could each generate a fight with more action than Sonnen/Machida. But first Sonnen has to get past Jon Jones. That’s the hardest part of the equation here, getting inside the champ’s insane reach advantage and solving a puzzle that, to this day, no one has really come that close to.
Dana White loves fighters who bring the action and look to finish fights in spectacular fashion. He is well-known for keeping fighters who lost around because they are action-oriented. Guys like Dan Hardy and Leonard Garcia come to mind. Should Sonnen get past Jones, would anyone be excited for a bout against Machida?