Chael Sonnen is no stranger to being in the limelight to hype up his upcoming fights. From the pre-fight, to the post-fight, this guy knows how to pull money into the UFC’s bank account.
That smash talking mouth has lead to increase sales on pay-per-view fights win or lose for Sonnen. That’s why we continue to see the guy fight. His continuous failures at trying to capture belts have actually made him MORE popular. He is the highest grossing fighter on pay-per-view without a belt!
“The American Gangster” started out humble when he came to the UFC, showing up to the fight, squaring off in the ring and getting a paycheck while heading out quietly with his team. That all seems like you’re talking about a completely different person than the Sonnen we know now.
Sonnen has taken his wrestling mentality and pushed it out into an aggressive, pro-wrestler-esque style that really gets people wanting to watch his fights. In all of his pre-fight interviews he’s just dogging on his opponent and he’s completely overboard on a lot of it, just like you see in pro-wrestling. It’s entertainment and that sells, which means Sonnen gets paid win or lose.
Sonnen’s team trainer said this about the fighter back in 2012:
“Coming from a wrestling background, he tried to take a more humble approach. Over the last couple of years he’s taken a little different approach… Whether they hate him or they love him, they know who he is. They want to see him fight either way. I think it’s important that he learned how to do that. This is what it takes in this industry. It’s an entertainment industry. The promoters decide which fights are going to sell more tickets and those are the fights they put together. It’s about building hype and putting on a show.”
If you’re someone who doesn’t like him, you watch his fights to see him lose.
This guy doesn’t have to worry about winning or losing, if he keeps up the antics and gets the pay-per-view sales, he’ll be in the UFC until he can’t do it anymore.
Maybe that’s why he jumped at the chance to battle against light heavyweight champ Jon Jones at UFC 159. He’s the underdog 5-to-1 but he’s already made this thing more popular than it should be.
Then when he is done with fighting in the UFC, he’ll have a long time job as a commentator for the promotion.
He’ll be leading the way for future “Gangsters”, let’s just hope it doesn’t lead the sport into something the resembles pro-wrestling all together.