Despite a reputation skewed directly to the contrary, Chael Sonnen is adamant that he would “never manufacture conflict.” He talks a big game, but at least according to him, it all comes from the heart.
In an interview with Sherdog.com, Sonnen stated that, “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,” he continued. “Do not make it up and don’t just cut something for entertainment. Post-fight’s a little bit different because then you’re not selling anything. If you’re just talking to a crowd, and tickets and pay-per-views aren’t on the line, that’s totally different. … I don’t like anything that’s manufactured. If it’s not real, I’m not buying it…
According to Sonnen, he has just one rule: if you don’t mean it, don’t say it:
“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, then 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.”
This all strikes me as a bit strange considering his comments regarding Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and his teammate Wanderlei Silva before the recent UFC Fight Night. At the very least though, it’s reassuring to know that Chael Sonnen’s constant hype train is at least well meant.