The West Linn Oregon Gangster, Chael Sonnen, took time out of training recently to talk about his relationship with UFC boss Dana White and his up and coming fight with Rashad Evans.
Sonnen is one of the most popular fighters in the UFC, so popular in fact that he had his next fight lined up before he even started training for Evans; who he fights in the co-main event of UFC 167 this Saturday. The former middleweight and light-heavyweight contender seems to be everywhere these days.
Sonnen commentates for Fox, he is about to fight in the co-main event of one of the biggest fight cards this year and he will face off against rival Wanderlei Silva in The Ultimate Fighter Brazil next year. Even with his busy schedule Sonnen still finds time for interviews and he was in good spirits as he talked about his boss to MMA Fighting earlier this week.
“He is the master, He works very hard, and he does a lot of things nobody else does. You can’t go to school to learn what Dana does. You can’t read a book, you can’t major in this. You have to try it and fail, or try it and succeed to know what works. A lot of guys have tried, but they haven’t wanted to work as hard, 18 or 19 hours a day. He is the best, and he is the best in a lot of areas.”
Obviously Chael knows how to keep in his bosses good books. The outspoken fighter has also been fairly quiet coming into his bout with Evans, we are yet to see his Pro Wrestling like interviews and videos that have made the fighter so popular in recent years. Sonnen had this to say about his inability to hype a fight with Evans and what it meant to be on the blockbuster card.
“If there was one guy I would have not wanted, it was Rashad,” Sonnen said. “We work together, we talk a lot, it’s kind of awkward. I wanted to be on the card. It’s a means to an end. … I don’t know what to do with the guy, but I seldom do. I never walk into a fight confident. If I didn’t I’d be a bully. I go into fights with guys I don’t know I can beat. That’s the point of it.”
“I wanted to be part of the 20th anniversary card, it was the biggest show in UFC history. To be on a huge show means something to me. I really wanted to be on a card St-Pierre was on. The biggest PPV of the year is Georges vs Nick Diaz. You guys think you know, but you don’t. I’ll tell you right now, they are No. 1. No. 2 was Jones and I, and now we’re teaming up. Georges and I are teaming up. It’s a huge night and we will set the record.”
So basically what Sonnen is saying is that although he never wanted to fight Evans, he did what he had to do, just to be on the biggest card with GSP. St-Pierre pulls in the biggest amount of PPV’s in the UFC, Sonnen is also a top five draw and by matching the two up the UFC is bound to pick up big viewing numbers. You can’t blame the fighter for wanting to stay busy, at 36 you would think Chael’s career is drawing to an end. Sonnen however, says he’s just not thinking about it.
“I’ve got a new contract,” Sonnen said. “I’ll fulfill my contract. I don’t put a lot of thought into it. I’m getting to the age where I’m going to be asked that question a lot. I need to come up with a better answer. I look up to guys who can extend their career. Bernard Hopkins, Randy Couture, even Floyd Mayweather, we’re the same age, for him to do what he does on such a dominant level in a young man’s sport is very admirable.”