While discussing all of the recent injury withdrawals and fights being scrapped due to injuries Sonnen had his own opinion on what should happen to fighters who pull out injured or not.
“I’ve been wrestling since I was nine years old. Not once have a missed a competition due to illness or injury. You say you’ll do something and the competition is set. That’s it. You show up. My dad was a plumber. That’s hard work. He never missed a day of work. I will never disrespect him by not showing up for an athletic competition that has a maximum duration of 25 minutes. There should be forfeiture if you have to pull out of a fight. If you don’t show up, it should be a loss on your record.”
“Vitor Belfort pulls out of more fights than he agrees to. He’s fantastic, but he’s such a chicken and he’s such a liar. To say you’re going to fight, to sell tickets, to sign your name, to film the TV show, and then to pull out? Against an invalid? That’s insane. It’s shocking they’re able to say that with a straight face. My opinion of Wanderlei is constantly evolving, because as atrocious as he is skills-wise, he shows up and fights. He goes hard in spite of the lack of talent and gives the fans his best…. Vitor’s a dork, but he’s a tough fighter, man. I really think he’s an excellent fighter.”
“I’m the only respectful guy in the organization,”
“So many guys think that respect is to look at your face and tell you a lie. To pay you a compliment and then stick a knife in your back when you turn around. I will tell you to your face that when you turn around, I’ll put a knife in your back. And then I will. And people find that refreshing. I’m not a trash talker, I’m a truth talker, and if you ask me a question, I’m going to give you an answer. I don’t manufacture conflict.”
Sonnen also talks about his path back to the number one contender spot.
“Looking back, there were so many things that had to happen. But, Anderson, he had two hard fights. Vitor’s a dork, but he’s a tough fighter, man. I really think he’s an excellent fighter. [Yushin] Okami’s awesome. Okami beats on me every day. So Anderson got through these guys, and we both had to get back to this spot, it wasn’t handed to us. Every night when I closed my eyes, I saw this fight coming, but I don’t know why. Now that we’re talking about it, I don’t know why I should have thought it was ever going to happen. Coming back, I’m thinking, OK, I have to fight Anderson, but it becomes Brian Stann and it’s ‘OK, that’s weird,’ alright, then I’ill fight Anderson next. Now it’s Munoz, now it’s Bisping. I always thought it would be Anderson and it wasn’t. So many things have to line up for [there to be] a big fight.”
The rematch was originally slated for Brazil however due to scheduling issues had to be moved to Vegas.
“Brazil would have been a good neutral territory,” Sonnen said. “Most of those fighters live here. Anderson lives in Beverly Hills, in a two-million-dollar mansion. He left those Brazilians just as soon as Wanderlei and Vitor did. They go back anytime they can reach into those guys’ pockets, but the reality is they’re Americans, they got rich in America, they pay taxes in America, they got famous in America, they’re employed by an American company, those guys are Americans. His plane fight from Beverly Hills to Las Vegas is shorter than my ride from West Linn, Ore. So good for Anderson for getting it moved to his home turf.”
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