Despite the fact that he’s never held a UFC title, Chael Sonnen is somehow one of the sport’s biggest names. It seems that despite his big talk, even Sonnen isn’t sure what made him the huge star he is today.
“You never know,” he explained to MMAFighting.com. “If you were to ask me, ‘Hey Chael, what’s it take to be a star in the UFC?’ I could give you a pretty good guess, but that’s all it would be. I don’t really know.”
“Every year there’s something called a Fighter Summit,” he added. “And the very first one we went to, Dana White touched on this topic, and I’ll quote Dana, because he was right. Dana said, ‘I don’t know what it takes to be a star. It’s a very strange formula.’ You take a guy like Conor McGregor, it’s overnight. You take a guy like Brock Lesnar, he just walks into the spot.”
Sonnen did state that for any UFC star, one thing remains constant: they have to win their fights.
“But the one constant the stars have is they win their fights,” he said. “Every time you win, you get another fight. Every time you get a fight, you get promotion, marketing and media. Those things are what makes stars. It’s the same thing with football. It’s not whoever throws the most touchdowns. It’s whoever makes it on ESPN or FOX Sports 1 the most that becomes the most famous quarterback. That’s just how it works.”