Top UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has been spouting a near endless stream of trash talk leading up to his Saturday bout against UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva but his aim has stayed almost entirely on Silva, with the occasional jab at “The Spider’s” friends/manager/training partners tossed in for good measure. Now, only days away from his first UFC title shot, Sonnen has decided to shift the focus of his verbal attack away from Silva and to a target who is, by all appearances, quite unrelated to the sport of MMA. During an interview with Pro MMA Radio’s Larry Pepe, Sonnen unleashed a torrent of apparently pent up feelings of anger he has been harboring for Tour de France-winning cyclist Lance Armstrong, of all people.
“When you screw up, you have to own it,” Sonnen said when asked what really bothers him. “That stuff really gets under my skin. Take Lance Armstrong. Lance Armstrong did a number of things and he gave himself cancer. He cheated, he did drugs, and he gave himself cancer. Well, instead of saying ‘Hey listen, I cheated and gave myself cancer, don’t be like me.’ He actually made himself the victim and then went out and profited something like $15 million dollars from this ‘Hey, poor me, let’s find a cure for cancer’ campaign instead of just coming clean and saying, ‘Look, here’s what I did, I screwed myself up, and I hope people learn from my mistakes.’ You just watch these guys and can’t help but think, God, what a fraud. You got the whole Michael Phelps being a pothead thing too. I’m just glad I’m in the business I’m in so I can get them in the cage and kick the crap out of them.”
If Sonnen cannot make history by being the first person to take Anderson Silva’s UFC belt from him he can at least claim to be the man who started the first mixed martial arts/cycling feud. Sonnen meets Anderson Silva this Saturday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California in the main event of UFC 117; the fight will be for the UFC middleweight title.