(“I’m sorry, Chael’s not here right now. I’m his protector personality, Buck the beer-swilling Vietnam vet.” Pic: ProMMANow)
Admit it, you missed this crazy son of a bitch. Fresh from his sentencing in federal court in Oregon last week and a few days further removed from what sounded like a contentious initial meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Chael Sonnen made his first extended public appearance in recent memory on Monday on the MMA Hour over at MMA Fighting. Sonnen’s nearly 40-minute discussion with Ariel Helwani centered mostly on his continued efforts to reapply for a license to fight in Las Vegas, but also touched on many things UFC.
Listing back and forth between his two dominant personalities — sober, straight-talking manly-man and over-the-top middleweight contender — Sonnen admitted his main focus hasn’t been on fighting these last few months, but said he hopes to return to the Octagon sooner than later. The more human side of Sonnen admitted he still needs to “clear the air” with NSAC before moving forward with his athletic career, while his batshit crazy side couldn’t resist simultaneously tossing a few verbal barbs at most of the rest of the UFC roster. It’s not a mystery which quotes we’ll hit you with first after the jump …
On the topic of a possible opponent for his UFC return, Sonnen said he’s still not sure who the UFC might want him to fight first:
“I’ve been in red tape for a while here …,” he said. “I leveled with (the UFC). I called them up and said ‘Give me the worst guy you’ve got under contract,’ and they said, ‘Chael, Wanderlei (Silva) won’t fight you.’ I said, ‘Alright, give me the second worst guy you’ve got under contract.’ They said, ‘Chael, how many times do we have to tell you, CroCop is a heavyweight.’ So I said, ‘Is anyone available? How about Bisping? Is his dance card open?’ and they said that might be a possibility.”
When asked about new light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (apparently even middleweights must speak to Jones’ awesomeness at this point), Sonnen was actually surprisingly complementary. About the rest of the 205-pound division? Somewhat less so …
“(Jones) brings more to the table than just being the world champion,” he said. “He brings integrity, he brings class, he’s good for the industry and he’s good for the sport. I get real frustrated with these guys who are just in it for themselves … (But) Jon Jones is not the hot topic of 205 pounds. The hot topic that everybody should be talking about is that he’s been the champion for three weeks and not one coward at 205 has challenged him. Not one guy has called him out and said, ‘I want to fight that guy.’ If you’re all scared of a 23-year-old kid, turn your gloves in, sign the pink slip and show yourself the door … But what do you expect from a weight class that allowed a karate guy to be champion?”
Sonnen also pretty much guaranteed that Jake Shields will defeat Georges St. Pierre at the end of this month, but that was to be expected after he spent some time training with Cesar Gracie Jiu Jistu recently.
And now for the less exciting stuff: Chael Sonnen The Confessed Criminal declined to get into the specifics of the deal that ultimately saw him charged with federal mortgage fraud last year, saying it would get pretty complicated in the time allowed on the show. Probably a good call. What he did do was do his best to downplay his role in the whole scheme while accepting responsibility for breaking the law.
“I didn’t gain anything,” Sonnen said of the five-year-old deal. “That was my biggest confusion here, I go ‘Wait a minute, I didn’t make a dollar here and I don’t know anybody that did.’ I’m not sure how this is a crime. Nonetheless, I don’t want to backpedal on this, we did this (real estate deal) wrong. I was asked to pay a fine, I did what was asked of me and I’ll live with it … Listen, this is what men do, we take responsibility for our irresponsibility.”
As for his current standing with the NSAC, Chael Sonnen The Lying Testosterone Addict said he had “a different perspective” on his recent meeting with Executive Director Keith Kizer, saying he thought Kizer was “stern, but very fair” with him. Sonnen said he hopes to meet with the NSAC during the next few weeks and if the meeting goes well, he will likely apply for a new license shortly thereafter.
“I’d love to play poker with director Kizer and clean him out (because) he’s got no poker face,” he said. “He’ll tell it to you straight.”