Though he hasn’t exactly toned things down overall and still takes potshots at Black House whenever possible, Chael Sonnen has been much more reserved than usual in the lead up to his UFC 136 fight.
That’s because he’s facing off against a friend and a competitor whom he respects in former US Marine Corps Captain Brian Stann. Stann and Sonnen consider each other friends and, according to a recent interview with Inside MMA, were even considering helping each other train for their next bouts before being matched up against each other.
“It’s funny, just two weeks before we got matched up, Chael e-mailed me and he said, ‘Hey, Brian, I have two buddies of mine who were in the military and they’re struggling to find jobs and your organization, Hire Heros USA, is the premier organization that helps guys like that.’ So, immediately, I started helping his buddies, we’re getting in the pipe line and finding them jobs, getting them more educated, etc. And me and Chael were e-mailing back and forth about who we think we’re fighting next. I thought I was going to fight Mark Munoz, he thought he was going to fight Wanderlei Silva, and we actually talked about, well, if those are our two match-ups next, maybe we’ll link up and find a place to do some training,” said Stann. “I can learn off his wrestling and he can get a guy to strike against him like me, who can throw big shots. So we agreed on that and we saw each other a week later at UFC 132. The UFC sat us right next to each other along with other fighters. We’re all shaking hands and talking to each other, etc. And, literally, two days later I get the call and Joe Silva says, ‘Hey, this is the fight.’ And that’s it. And Chael e-mailed me that night and he said, ‘Brian, I can’t sleep with the news tonight. You know I consider you a friend and that won’t change on my side.’ I e-mailed him back and said, ‘You know Chael, it’s just a fist fight. In the big scheme of things it means very little. Let’s get out there, let’s get after it but after this, nothing changes. It’s not big deal.'”
Stann and Sonnen will square off at UFC 136 this October 8 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Check out Stann’s full interview with Inside MMA below.