Chael Sonnen prides himself on being an American all the way through. That’s why the UFC middleweight contender is so unhappy about the lack of interest given to amateur wrestling in the U.S.
Sonnen, in an interview with Flowrestling.org, talked about the recent success that the United States team had at the world championships.
“If you are an All-American in this country, if you make it to the Top-8, that is a lifetime achievement and it is rightly celebrated. But if you make it to fifth in the world for some reason we don’t celebrate that. We actually meet that with disappointment,” Sonnen said.
Sonnen, who will meet Brian Stann at UFC 136 in October in a bout that could decide the next contender to Anderson Silva’s UFC title, was talking about former Michigan State University standout Nick Simmons and his finish at the world championships.
“I look at Nick Simmons’ finish at fifth in the world, beats a silver medallist…he is one-point, one push-out away from the finals where he could have been the champion and all of a sudden it’s this big letdown – well not for me! For me he is fifth on Earth!” Sonnen said. “Everybody that enters the world championships is a national champion of their country so everybody you beat is winning a national title. Nick goes out and wins (over) three national title (holders) and we are supposed to act like he is a big disappointment? Not for me!”
Sonnen is a youth wrestling coach and runs his own team. He was an NCAA Div. I All-American at the University of Oregon and a silver medallist at the 2000 Greco-Roman World University Championships.