After Chael Sonnen lost to Lyoto Machida at Bellator 222, “The American Gangster” announced his retirement from MMA. The 42-year-old never reached his goal of capturing a major MMA title, which he considers to be a failure, but he was one of the major draws in the sport.
The Oregon native, Chael Sonnen, fought the top names in the sport and knew how to sell a fight with his mouth. The lead up to his title fights with Anderson Silva and his scrap against Tito Ortiz were among the best. And, according to UFC President, Dana White, that made Sonnen stay relevant as he could sell a fight and piss off other fighters.
“I like Chael a lot, I have a very good relationship with Chael Sonnen,” White said on SiriusXM (as transcribed by The Mac Life). “I like the fact that [the UFC] is the hardest place in the world to stay and make a living. It’s a very hard place. You have to be one of the best in the world to stick around here. And when guys can’t stick around here anymore, and they go somewhere else and get paid and make money; I love it. Good for them.
‘Very Calculated how he conducted himself in business’
“I don’t think Chael was necessarily a bad guy, I think Chael was very good — before Conor McGregor — Chael was the best guy out there to push buttons and not only piss off other fighters, but piss off fans and stuff like that. He was very calculated and very smart in the way he conducted himself in this business.”
Chael Sonnen finished his MMA career with a record of 31-17-1 and beat the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, and Michael Bisping among countless others. No matter who he fought, Sonnen was always using his trash talk to sell the fight which White says was very smart for him and his career.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/20/2019.