Sonnen: It’s a ‘Criminal Act’ to Manufacture Conflict

By Sherdog.com Staff Aug 11, 2011
Chael Sonnen doesn’t hold back when he dislikes someone.

If he does like an opponent, though, the middleweight contender says he’s not going to act like he doesn’t to sell the fight.

“I don’t manufacture conflict,” Sonnen (Pictured) said on Bruce Buffer’s “It’s Time” show on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I don’t try to sell fights or talk trash or hype anything. I hear those things said about myself. I see people constantly attempt to imitate me, but that’s not what I’m doing. I don’t make anything up. If I don’t mean it, I won’t say it. Apparently in the fight business you’re allowed to say things that you don’t mean to sell fights, and I hate that concept. I can’t tell you how dishonest I find that.”

In particular, Sonnen cited Josh Koscheck’s apparent disdain for Georges St. Pierre leading up to their rematch in December 2010.

“I’ve known Josh Koscheck for 13 years,” Sonnen said. “He’s got my full support. He’s a friend of mine. If I had the ability, I would have fired him after the St. Pierre fight. Not because of the beyond atrocious performance he put on but [for] the fact that he built the fight up -- he hyped it and he grabbed the microphone and tells everybody, ‘Hey, I didn’t mean that.’ Somewhere in fighting that’s OK? That is a fraudulent criminal act, in my opinion.”

Sonnen compared it to a car salesman misleading a customer into a purchase, then revealing the lie after the purchase is made.

“You would be furious,” he said. “You’d march into the attorney general’s office. You’d have the guy’s license revoked. You’d probably get a refund. But somewhere in the fight world, it’s OK to make things up. I would never do that. Look, if I don’t mean it, I won’t say it.”

On Oct. 8 at UFC 136, Sonnen will meet an opponent he both likes and respects: Brian Stann.

“I’m not going to manufacture a conflict against Brian Stann,” Sonnen said. “He’s a friend of mine. He’s a great guy. He’s a former world champion. He and I need to compete with each other. I’m the middleweight champion of the world and Dana White and I together have deemed him the number one contender for my championship. I will give him his opportunity on October 8. That’s it. Win or lose, we will shake hands and we will carry on life as men and as friends.”

Evidently Sonnen believes he defeated UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva when they fought last August. Sonnen was perhaps less than two minutes away from earning a decision, but then Silva submitted him with a triangle armbar.

“In what parallel scoring system do you punch a man 300 times, he hits you 11 times, wraps his legs around your head for eight seconds and they declare him the winner?” Sonnen said. “That doesn’t make you a winner. In no form of society, from the jungle to the streets, does that make you a winner. I’m the people’s champion. I’m the linear champion. I’m the best middleweight there’s ever been and I am the UFC’s true champion.”

Unlike Stann, Sonnen clearly doesn’t like Silva. That means he doesn’t hold back when asked about the Brazilian.

“That’s just the way it goes,” Sonnen said. “I don’t do that for Anderson because I don’t feel that about Anderson. I don’t like Anderson Silva. I don’t like any of those Black House guys. I don’t need to explain my reasons and I don’t need to apologize for it. If they’ve got a problem with it, we can settle it in the people’s forum: the Octagon.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 2:54).

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