Chael Sonnen was a guest on “Submission Radio” recently, discussing the star power of Brock Lesnar, his potential return to action and more.
Check out a complete transcript of the interview below:
If Dana White will still want to bring Fedor in to the UFC after his latest fight
“Yeah, I think so. I think that Fedor is going to come over to the UFC. There’s nobody on the roster that he could beat and I don’t think there’s anybody that he wants to fight. You know, he’s pretty clear on what his business plan is, which is to go out and fight the easiest guys possible and keep the mystique going. And it’s not a bad plan. That’s actually not meant to be a knock on him. He’s selling tickets and drawing attendance and getting away with it. But yeah, the UFC is a whole other deal. But if someone wants to see Fedor get beat up, you know, it is what it is.”
“Everything I tell you about Fedor, it’s not like I’m real negative on him. The reality is, I wanna see him fight. Cause I live in that bubble. I’d tune in to see him fight anyone of those guys. And I don’t make believe that he’s gonna beat them, but I think he brings something to the table. I think that he brings a presence, I wanna see him make that walk, get in the octagon, I wanna see him do the bit. So yeah, there’s no doubt I’d tune in to see him – against anybody. It wouldn’t just have to be Brock [Lesnar]. You could throw out a hundred different names, I’m buying it.
Why Lesnar isn’t a “really good” wrestler but is an “effective” wrestler
“He wasn’t a really good wrestler, he was an effective wrestler. I’ll put this in perspective for you. In the NCAA when he won his national title, he was 265 pounds, which was the limit. In the finals, he had a guy that was 220 pounds and he had to go into double overtime with him. There’s not very many wrestlers alive, if any, that if they had a forty-five-pound weight advantage couldn’t put that guy away in about thirty seconds. So he was an effective wrestler, but you know, he had some size and he had a lot of other things to help him get his hand raised. It wasn’t skill and technique. He kept good position, he was a good competitor and he achieved some really great things. So I don’t think that a guy as short as Hunt is just gonna get bum-rushed and taken down. You gotta understand, Brock hasn’t been in the ring in five years, Hunt was the number one contender within the last calendar year. So no, you don’t have to be exactly an MMA expert to be able to see how this fight goes. Hunt’s gonna wreck him. But Brock’s still stepping in there, and he’s a once-in-a-lifetime attraction. If Brock’s fighting, you don’t want to miss it. And this truly will be his last fight. Anytime there’s speculation “is this gonna be the guy’s last fight?” that helps to draw, that helps make you go “I don’t wanna miss it”. For sure this is Brock’s last fight. So yeah man, people want to see it. I’m one of those people.”
If Lesnar is a bigger draw than McGregor and Rousey when he makes his UFC 200 comeback
“Yeah absolutely. And we talked about this, but Rousey was never the draw that she was advertised as. She never did the PPV numbers or the live gates that was advertised. It was always Conor by a lot, during that era when there was a debate between those two. Conor was the money guy. And why it was promoted and marketed differently, I don’t know, but it was just that. It was promotion and marketing. It was not reality. And yes, Lesnar crushes them both. They’re not even comparable. When you’re talking about the biggest UFC of all time and the biggest gate – you never bring up UFC 100. It was just such an anomaly. It’s like it’s taken off the board. You know, they did 1.755 million. So yes, Lesnar without a doubt is the biggest attraction the UFC has ever seen.”
Chael’s thoughts on GSP’s potential return
“I love it. I wanna see Georges back in there. I didn’t think it would happen. When he turned down UFC 200 – particularly the way his contract and the threshold and the bonus structure works, he was looking at anywhere from twelve to fifteen million dollars. No he’s gonna be looking more at four to 5.3 million dollars. So I was a little surprised that if he turned down two hundred, why or if he would ever come back – and I still don’t have the answer to that. I still think that the card to come back for was UFC 200, but he didn’t do it. So if he wants to come back, I’m all for it and if he wants a title shot against Bisping, he’s gonna get it.
If GSP can beat Bisping and if it makes sense for him to be the UFC Middleweight champion
“Yeah, I think that GSP would win. And does it make sense? Sure it does. It’s a very rare thing. And again, it might be a one-off. I don’t know that he would defend that belt. I think that he likes the match up, he likes that opponent, he likes that it’s a world title fight in a different division. I think he likes those things. I don’t know that he wants to get in there with Rockhold and Jacare. I don’t know that he does. But he likes this. And history will reflect very well on it if he was to come out of retirement and win a world championship in a different weight class.”
With Chael having a win over Bisping, if he’d be open to fighting him or even GSP for the UFC title when he returns
“I wouldn’t give a damn either way whoever the opponent is. I think only bullies pick their opponents. But I think that if you’re going to be in that sport – and this is my own code – everybody lives by a code, but mine was “anyone, anywhere, anytime”. And if I was competing or back in my career, that was always the rule that I wouldn’t change. I do not care about the opponent.”
If he’s still interested in a fight with Tim Kennedy if he hypothetically returned to MMA
“Yeah, there wouldn’t be anybody off the table. I’m not coming back. you know I don’t think that’s appropriate – and talking about living by a code. I also follow the rule – I’d say whatever I want about a guy, but I would always walk in there and let that guy answer for it if he had a problem with it. So I’m not in that pool anymore. I’m not going to walk in there and answer for it. So I’m a little torn. But to answer your question, a hypothetical matter, yes, you can add Tim Kennedy to the list.”
On how CM Punk will do now that his debut at UFC 203 is official
“I’d like to see Punk do really well. I know this is a dream of his. He’s worked really hard, he scarified, he dedicated, he put into it. I’d like to see him do really well. But I think the same thing can be said for his opponent. And those guys will go out and have their match and we’ll see if it happens. I’m not ready to sign off that I believe that that’s going to happen, but I did read the article, and let’s see if does.”
Why Chael thinks the Punk fight might not happen
“Yeah, we’ll see. There’s a lot of moving parts there. There’s been opportunities before and the match hasn’t happened. Let’s see. Let’s just see if it does.”