Chael Sonnen has been relatively reserved leading up into the home stretch of this rematch with Anderson Silva. Ariel Helwani asked him about it in an interview and got this interesting response:
“I got a call from Renzo Gracie, and when you get a call from a Gracie it’s kind off like getting a call from Randy Couture. You do not share your opinion, you just listen, you say OK and then you hang up.””There are certain guys that are off limits you know? The Gracies, Randy Couture, these guys are MMA royalty and if I am told something, thats it. He wasn’t really happy with me, but lets leave it at that.”
“I just told him that if he kept that trash talking he would be taking the greatness of the task that he had ahead of him,” Gracie said. “He is fighting one of the best fighters of our generation, and people would lose the chance to know the real Sonnen, a great athlete who I saw young fighting hard back in the Japan days, building his career as a fierce fighter, a career that ended up turning him into one of the amazing people that populate our great sport.
“I just asked him to behave with the greatness of a champion. Many fighters dream with that opportunity, to fight the best and test themselves in the toughest sport that existed. Be great, be bold, be fair, and above all, be honest. Some will love you, others will hate you, but they will know who you really are. Fight this fight in a way that will be unforgettable to those who had the privilege to watch. I won’t miss a second of this great match.”
Truth be told, I hope Sonnen doesn’t listen to that advice. If there’s a Chael that Chael needs to work on, it’s the one that lies about real life stuff like his money laundering conviction and TRT therapy, not the Chael that spews pro wrestling taunts that infuriate his opponents. That Chael is interesting and entertaining. That’s the Chael that’s miraculously managed to smack talk his way into one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport.