Former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen is one who knows the game of fight promotion all too well.
Sonnen now working as an MMA analyst says that the finger can be pointed at Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh for not being on the UFC 200 card.
“His coach cannot be putting anything out about him ever. Period. Ever,” Sonnen said on his Beyond the Fight podcast (transcribed by Bloody Elbow). “Because he doesn’t get it!” Sonnen said. “Respectfully, coach Kavanagh, You don’t get it. You don’t get it! Your student does. He gets it. Conor knows what’s going on.”
Although Sonnen says he respects coaches, they do have their vital roles that they have to play and sometimes promotion and media is not where they should be.
“Every time you talk and think you’re helping him, you’re not. You’re hurting the cause. You have to stop!
“Conor cannot put a post saying ‘money made, bills paid, game slayed. Your move,’ which means ‘I do not care what happens, I’m handled either way. It’s your move.’” he said. “He can’t do that and three days later have you come out saying hey fans, please petition and get him back.”
“You can’t do it! It’s never good for a trainer or manager to do this. Whether it comes from a good place or not, you look like you’re trying to get paid,” he said. “If one guy is sitting there, and the whole hand he’s playing is ‘I got enough, I don’t need to do it. Won the title, got the money, don’t care, having a great life.’ If he’s playing that, that’s a pretty good hand! But you can’t show cracks in it.”
Sonnen says the team needs to have unity in their message, but Team McGregor was all over the place on UFC 200.
“You’re talking about UFC 200, UFC New York, and why we’re blacklisted. Wait a minute, I thought the game was slayed, the bills were paid, and the money was made? That was their move! Now you’re begging to get on a card??”
“You guys have got to get on the same page,” Sonnen continued. “You want to hustle some hustlers, you better believe you’ve got to be on the same page!