On Saturday night, three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen will return to the cage for the first time in more than three years. He will do so against retiring MMA legend Tito Ortiz in the main event of a stacked Bellator 170 card.
In advance of his anticipated comeback, Sonnen has unleashed plenty of the sizzling trash talk for which he’s become famous, taking verbal stabs at Ortiz, and many other members of the Bellator roster.
In celebration of Sonnen’s return, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best Chael Sonnen quotes to date, some dating back many years, and others now just days old.
Click next to see them!
10. Chael Sonnen on Brock Lesnar:
Chael Sonnen has spent his career in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions – but that doesn’t mean fighters outside those divisions were safe from his verbal assaults.
The perfect example of this occurred in 2010, when he put then heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar on blast, evening threatening to throw a boot at the monstrous fighter. His words:
“If Brock Lesnar was here right now, I’d take my boot off and throw it at him, and he’d better polish it up before he brings it back to me. Talking about he’s the baddest guy in the UFC? Brock, quit eating so many raw eggs and doing push-ups because it’s affecting your realm of reality. Are you kidding me? I’d slap you in your face, and you wouldn’t do anything.”
9. Chael Sonnen on Chael Sonnen
When Chael Sonnen was scheduled for a bout with fellow trash talking legend Michael Bisping, we all looked forward to some memorable verbal sparring. Though he and Bisping were slightly more civil than we expected, they did produce some great lines. One of these lines was a poetic bit of self-promotion from Sonnen. See it below:
“You’re looking at the reflection of perfection. You’re looking at the man who gets all your attention. You’re looking at the man with the biggest arm. At the man with the greatest charm. The man in Chicago who will do harm to the guy three doors down. Whatcha gonna do, when you know who? How ya gonna deal, with the man of steel? How ya gonna react to Sonnen’s attack?”
8. Chael Sonnen on Anderson Silva:
Some of the finest Chael Sonnen quotes ever occurred in the buildup to his massively hyped first fight with Anderson Silva. His second battle with Silva, which occurred atop UFC 148 in July of 2012, was no different.
One of the best of these Chael Sonnen quotes occurred just days after Silva delivered some pretty solid trash talk of his own, and gave rise to one of Sonnen’s many monickers: “The Bad Guy.” See it below.
“[Anderson Silva is] a good durable fighter. He’s the champion, but I am the best, and there can be only one, and I’m not going to make any apologies for that. He’s done a good, solid job. He’s a durable guy. I’m a world-class athlete. He’s a martial artist, I’m a cage fighter and there’s a tremendous difference. And on Saturday night, there’s going to be one more in the win column, one more for the highlight reel, and one more for the bad guy.”
7. Chael Sonnen on Jenna Jameson:
As we said at the top of this list of the best Chael Sonnen quotes, his verbal zingers continue to this very day, in the buildup to his battle with Ortiz.
During a recent press conference Sonnen delivered one of his best lines yet – though many felt that he’d crossed the line in doing so. The target of this verbal volley was Ortiz’s ex-wife, adult actress Jenna Jameson.
“Tito always says I’m using my mouth to get my opportunities,” he said. “The only person that I know that made money using their mouth was his ex-wife.”
6. Chael Sonnen on Republicans:
Chael Sonnen very nearly won is first battle with Anderson Silva, pummelling the once dominant champion for the vast majority of five exciting rounds. Ultimately, however, Sonnen found himself locked up a submission in the fifth round, which forced him to tap out and give up what would have been the biggest win of his career.
In the months after this win, however, Sonnen was vocal in the belief that Silva wasn’t really the bout’s winner. See one of his best quotes to this end below:
“Even if I thought I could get a submission, I’m not laying underneath a grown man with my legs spread on worldwide TV. Some guys subscribe to that theory but I am a Republican and we don’t do that.”
5. Chael Sonnen on the Nogueira Brothers
One of Chael Sonnen’s many controversial quotes about the Brazilian people occurred in the buildup to his first fight with Brazilian star Anderson Silva. The target of this quote was the Nogeuira brothers, who served as Silva’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coaches.
In this scathing attack, Sonnen claimed to have been present when the Nogueira brothers first arrived in America – which is obviously not true – and said he saw them mistake a bus for a horse.
“I was in Las Vegas when the Nogueira brothers first touched down in America,” he said. “There was a bus, this is a true story. There was a bus that pulled up to a red light, and Little Nog tried to feed it a carrot, while Big Nog was petting it. He thought it was a horse. This really happened. He tried to feed a bus a carrot, and now you’re telling me this country has computers? I didn’t know that.”
4. Chael Sonnen on God:
In professional sports, it’s common to hear athletes thank god after big wins. MMA, of course, is no exception to this rule – and Chael Sonnen doesn’t quite understand that.
Though he claims to be a religious man, Sonnen has been vocal in his belief that God has no interest in the outcome of a mixed martial arts contest. His words on the subject:
“You know, these guys want to talk about God; ‘Oh, I want to thank God. I want to thank God.’ Listen, I’m a God-fearing man, I go to church every Sunday and I have since I was a boy. But if I ever found out that God cared one way or another about a borderline illegal fist fight on Saturday night, I would be so greatly disappointed that it would make rethink my entire belief system.”
3. Chael Sonnen on Threats:
No matter the outcome of his imminent bout with Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen is likely to find himself locked in the Bellator cage with Wanderlei Silva in the near future. If this bout does occur, it’ll mark the climax of long-standing rivalry between the two – a rivalry that has produced some incredible lines from Sonnen. One of the best of these lines, Sonnen explained, was supposed to be an example of a real, effective threat. See this threat below:
“Listen Wanderlei, I will do a home invasion on you. I will cut the power to your house and the next thing you’ll hear is me climbing up your stairs in a pair of night vision goggles I bought in the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine. I’ll pick the lock to the master room door, take a picture of you in bed with the Nogueira brothers working on your ‘jiu-jitsu’. I’ll take said quote unquote photograph, post it at dorksfrombrazil.com, password – not required, username – not required. That, Wanderlei, is how you threaten someone. Dummy.”
2. Chael Sonnen on Failure:
Though Sonnen is known for his fiery trash talk, he can also be quite poignant when the need arises. The greatest of these more thoughtful Chael Sonnen quotes occurred while he was coaching the Ultimate Fighter opposite a future opponent in Jon Jones. During this season, Sonnen delivered a beautifully worded speech on the ever-present possibility of failure. His words:
“When doubt seeps in, you got two roads, and you can take either road. You can go to the left or you can go to the right, and believe me, they’ll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times – but it’s a choice. You can choose to fail or you can choose to succeed. And if we can plant seeds and let [fighters] know, ‘Move your feet, keep your hands up, stay off the bottom,’ That is the road to victory. Or self-doubt and negative talk, and that is the road to failure. But failure is always there, and it’s okay to recognize that. If I can leave you with anything today, in my long journey through this, it is, one: it’s okay. Two: it’s normal. And as athletes and especially as men, as male athletes we hate to admit weakness to ourselves, and when you’re dealing with something and you got some kind of a hiccup, yeah, first thing is acknowledge it.”
1. Chael Sonnen on Testosterone:
As loved as Chael Sonnen is for his trash talk, his career has been somewhat marred by a few PED-related incidents. One of these incidents occurred in 2010, after his first loss to Anderson Silva, when it was revealed that he’d had elevated testosterone levels during their fight.
Instead of making excuses for this issue, Sonnen opted to own it, recounting the phone call he got that notified him of his elevated T-levels. Equal parts hilarity and bravado, this is our favorite of the many memorable Chael Sonnen quotes we’ve heard over the years:
“My phone rings, they call me up and say, ‘Chael, your testosterone level is too high.’ I say, ‘Well, how high was it?’ They say, ‘0.7.’ I said, ‘What’s normal?’ They say, ‘0.6.’; I said, ‘One-tenth? You’re telling me I’m one-tenth higher than the average man? Re-test that – you must have caught me on a low day.’”
What’s your favorite of the many unforgettable Chael Sonnen quotes we’ve heard over the years? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/20/2017.