Chael Sonnen: 'I would never manufacture conflict ... it's insincere'

Jonathan Ferrey

UFC Chael Sonnen ... as real as it gets.

Well, that's a relief.

Lest you think Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight-turned-light heavyweight Chael Sonnen was selling you wolf tickets (like these), let me assuage those fears with today's news that when it comes to the former three-time title contender, what you see is what you get.

For better or for worse.

Sonnen was making headlines for his submission win over Mauricio Rua last Saturday night (Aug. 17) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26 on FOX Sports 1 (results), which emanated from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. But it was his call out of Wanderlei Silva after the fact that got the fight community buzzing.

A conflict "The American Gangster" insists is not manufactured (via

"I would never manufacture conflict. That's a very important statement. When I talk about big brothering guys, that's probably lesson number one: Do not hype a fight. If you have an issue, if you have a reason and it's sincere, feel free to speak about it. Do not make it up and don't just cut something for entertainment. Post-fight's a little bit different because then you're not selling anything. If you're just talking to a crowd, and tickets and pay-per-views aren't on the line, that's totally different. ... I don't like anything that's manufactured. If it's not real, I'm not buying it... I really just have one rule, and that is, if you don't mean it, don't say it. There is an entertainment aspect for that, but that's not what we do here and I don't want to sell anybody anything that isn't real. I've bought it. I bought Mike Tyson versus Lennox Lewis and listened to Tyson apologize afterwards, say he didn't mean it. I go, ‘Well, then give me my money back. You've got to return my money. That was a lie. I bought this on a lie.' I watched Josh Koscheck and [Georges] St. Pierre, and Josh Koscheck grabbed the mic and said [he] didn't mean it. Josh, you're a liar then. There's 11,000 fans that bought a ticket because they thought that they were going to see a dispute settled. ... It bothers me. It's insincere. I won't participate in it."

In other words, don't call someone out just for the sake of calling them out.

That could explain why Sonnen was more reserved in his pre-fight hype for his UFC 136 showdown opposite Armed Forces hero and promotion fan favorite Brian Stann. In addition, his verbal warfare against Rua leading up to their "Beantown" bonanza was uncharacteristically reserved.

I guess he was saving his material for "The Axe Murderer."

When and where the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) coach fights next, as well as against who and at what weight, remains to be seen. But if these recent call outs are any indication, the list of potential opponents is growing by the minute. Just don't expect Sonnen to hype the fight.

Or at the very least, say anything he doesn't mean.

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