Former top contender, Chael Sonnen returns to the Octagon this weekend at the inaugural UFC on FOX Sports 1 show, after being defeated by Jon Jones in his latest attempt to capture UFC gold. Sonnen seemed to be stepping away from the sport citing a lack of desire to participate in a sport in which he can’t capture a title.
Now, with a big fight looming just days away, Sonnen reiterates to fans why he is so valuable to the UFC (via The Daily Mail):
I’m the biggest draw in the business. It’s a revolving door; I was the highest-paid fighter in the business and that’s a compliment. Then Georges [St. Pierre] came back and now I’m not, but I hang on to those things. They’re small titles but they’re titles all the same. I haven’t reached my goals, any of them. I’m chasing the same thing I always was. This isn’t a top contender fight but we’re both ranked in the top 10. He’s a former world champion, I’ve never been a UFC champion before. It’s a big deal to me, I can tell you that much. I still feel I can win the championship. I can’t think of a fighter who doesn’t think they can win the championship.”
Sonnen blames welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre for his drop down the earnings ladder but is more than likely still compensated well, as he does remain a beacon of MMA news as his fight approaches or pretty much whenever he opens his mouth.
Sonnen knows that he must make his way through a very game Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua as well. Sonnen has always known (whether pre- or post-fight) that the title of champion comes with a talent level that supersedes others in the division:
‘Could he have done more? Yeah, probably but I think that can be said about all of us.
‘He’s a champion, there’s a no way around it, he’s a bad dude. He’s as tough as they come, he hangs in there if he’s hurt or not and he’s fought everyone and that’s rare.’
UFC on FOX Sports 1 takes place this Saturday at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
BJPENN.com will have live coverage of the event.
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