It seems even the MMA world’s best trash-talkers have their standards.
Chael Sonnen recently weighed in on a couple of incidents involving UFC fighters acting out and causing a stir. In both cases, the fighters put their hands on others in a situation that didn’t involve active competition. For Sonnen, good old-fashioned verbal promotion wins out over physical altercations.
Sonnen challenged for the middleweight title twice against Anderson Silva, and the light-heavyweight title once against Jon Jones. In all three fights, Sonnen had more than enough verbal barbs to keep media pundits and fight fans on the edge of their seats.
While he has never been shy about his opinions, Sonnen was less-than-impressed by the boisterous behavior of two of the UFC’s best fighters. The first of these is Fabricio Werdum, a former heavyweight champion who recently got into a physical altercation with welterweight Colby Covington.
Covington set the MMA world ablaze with controversy when he ran down the Brazilian crowd after defeating their countryman, Damien Maia. He insulted the nation and even its people, earning him a chorus of boos, a shower of garbage on his way back to the locker room, and a series of threats for a short time afterward.
Werdum confronted Covington in Sydney, Australia, where the heavyweight threw a boomerang at him. Sonnen said he had no problems with Covington’s comments, but he was highly critical of Werdum for making things physical.
“I think he’s (Covington) a ton of fun and what Werdum did was a scumbag move.” Sonnen also noted Werdum has a history of creating confrontation, as he almost got into a scuffle with lightweight Tony Ferguson at a recent media event.
Sonnen has thrown his own verbal barbs at Brazil and its fighters in the past. He once jokingly stated that the famous and highly revered Nogueira brothers were startled upon seeing a bus when they came to America, and also claimed they attempted to feed a carrot to the vehicle.
Sonnen also discussed the recent actions of Conor McGregor, a man who rose to superstardom in a short time. Despite winning titles in two weight classes and even having a boxing fight with Floyd Mayweather, McGregor’s antics at a recent Bellator card have earned him (arguably) the most press of his career.
McGregor jumped into the cage to celebrate with a teammate, and became physical with the official when he attempted to remove McGregor. He was also accused of slapping another official on his way out. Sonnen weighed in on the issue, stating that it was understandable McGregor was happy for his teammate, but also noting that getting physical with staff was unacceptable.
“But as far as a guy coming into the ring assaulting a referee, pushing him into a concussed fighter, slapping MH – something has to happen. It was bad.”
Sonnen has victories over Mauricio Rua, Michael Bisping, Wanderlei Silva, and Nate Marquard. He is currently scheduled to face Quinton Jackson in the upcoming rounds of Bellator’s next tournament.
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