Chael Sonnen admits that over the years, he’s had a lot of fun promoting himself. Tomorrow, however, he has 250+ pounds of Rampage to contend with.
Bellator 192 main event attraction Chael Sonnen has a tough test ahead of him on Saturday at The Forum in Los Angeles. The veteran wrestler and self-styled ‘American Gangster’ has never walked away from a fight — but he’s giving up a lot of weight mixing it up with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.
He spoke to Cageside Press on Friday, just a day shy of stepping in the cage, about the weight issue, who his pick for the best of all time is, and more.
When asked about the weight discrepancy between himself and Jackson, Chael wasn’t phased. “When I got in this sport, we didn’t have weight classes. I think I had 4, 5, 6 fights before I even saw a scale” the always quotable fighter said. “So I don’t get too tied into the weight classes, but I’ve also never done it before. I don’t completely know what I’m getting into, but I’ve got no problem with it.”
Just how important is this fight, and the Bellator World Heavyweight Grand Prix, to a fighter who contested for UFC gold on three separate occasions? “It’s a main event, it’s at the Forum, it’s the quarter-final of a world championship, so in my life competitively right now, it’s the most important thing.”
Sonnen is in a unique position as one of the few men to have fought both Anderson Silva and Jon Jones (Vitor Belfort and Stephen Bonnar have as well). The pair have had their troubles of late, with both facing suspensions from USADA, but what’s his take on who the greatest of all time is?
His answer is GSP. “I think that Jones is a very special talent, it’s just that St. Pierre going as long as he did – running through a division is one thing” Sonnen explained. “Running through it a second time is a whole ‘nother, and he gave some guys three opportunities.”
“He retired, he came back looking terrible, he came back looking slow, he came back looking weak, and he still was the baddest dude in the world.” That cements Georges St. Pierre as a special fighter. “If you can be the best fighter in the world on a bad day, you’re something very special.”
Over the years, Sonnen has been known for, shall we say, his promoting, as much as for his fighting. Or, as he has put it before, his “truth talking.” There’s not any one line he’s most proud of, but Chael Sonnen did admit that “I had a lot of fun over the years, I could tell you that much.”
As for the fight on Saturday, “I’m going to jump on Rampage from the very start. I’m going to fight as hard as I can the entire time, and if he’s got an answer for it, god bless him.”
Bellator 192 takes place Saturday, January 20 at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA.