Sonnen On The Art Of The Interview: ‘If you want a fight, ask for it’

“You’ve got to understand everybody comes from Billy Graham. So I think my answer was going to be Len Denton, but I’m sure if Len told the truth, he got inspired by Billy too. Billy Graham actually put a Facebook post out. I had paid homage to him after a fight some time ago, and he appreciated that. Because he appreciated it, I paid him homage again tonight.”

“Anderson was there, so I got a reaction. That’s really what you’re after. You want to evoke some type of emotion, especially if you’re calling a guy out. That’s the whole point. You want him to respond. That’s how you get a fight going. It’s no different than when you’re kids in school. If one guy says something to another guy and the other guy just sits there, then well, you kind of feel bad for the guy. I don’t want to see a guy get bullied. But if the other guy goes, ‘Oh, really? You talking to me?’ Well, now you’ve got something to watch. That rule applies here in professional fighting too. It’s the same rule as from the playground.”

“Sometimes I feel like a big brother to these guys that’s got to let them know we’re in the fight business. If you want a fight, ask for a fight.”

It’s got to be from the heart and it’s got to be real. I would never manufacture conflict. That’s a very important statement. When I talk about big brothering guys, that’s probably lesson number one: Do not hype a fight. If you have an issue, if you have a reason and it’s sincere, feel free to speak about it. Do not make it up and don’t just cut something for entertainment.

I really just have one rule, and that is, if you don’t mean it, don’t say it. There is an entertainment aspect for that, but that’s not what we do here and I don’t want to sell anybody anything that isn’t real. I’ve bought it. I bought Mike Tyson versus Lennox Lewis and listened to Tyson apologize afterwards, say he didn’t mean it. I go, ‘Well, than give me my money back. You’ve got to return my money. That was a lie. I bought this on a lie.’ I watched Josh Koscheck and [Georges] St. Pierre, and Josh Koscheck grabbed the mic and said [he] didn’t mean it. Josh, you’re a liar then. There’s 11,000 fans that bought a ticket because they thought that they were going to see a dispute settled. … It bothers me. It’s insincere. I won’t participate in it.”

– Chael Sonnen via

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