During his 16-year mixed martial arts (MMA) career, Chael Sonnen has faced plenty of fighters he didn't much care for.
But as he gears up to step back into the Octagon at UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013, he will face a fighter he really likes in former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. On top of that, "Suga" is Sonnen's colleague on FOX Sports 1, so having to punch your co-worker in the face will probably be a bit awkward (though I'm sure we've all wanted to do that at some point).
So, how does one dig up the animosity to hype yourself up for a fight against an opponent you actually like?
You don't, according to Sonnen, who revealed during his appearance on "The MMA Hour" that there will be no hard feelings against Evans ahead of their "Sin City" showdown.
"It is one of those tough spots that you end up in. The problem with Rashad is that he is really, really good. When you get these guys that are top 10 fighters, you got to fight with them. I'm in the same spot, I've had a career, a lot of wins, it's just one of those deals where your name is going to come out of a hat and you end up matched up and you got to go out and do the competition. As far as motivation, we're both competitors, we get it. But as far as animosity, it's just not there and it's not going to be. It's not my preference, we're in the fight business for a reason, to fight. There's people out there I don't like, but at the same time, if those people prefer to do their fights over subtitled videos and the rest of us prefer to do our fights inside the Octagon, we have to operate within that hierarchy. There is not a lot we can do."
Evans, meanwhile, shares the same sentiment, but is determined "let the dog out" when they collide during the co-main event in the UFC's 20th anniversary show.
The fight between the two friends came to be after one of the guys Sonnen's doesn't care for, Wanderlei Silva, turned down the opportunity to finally settle his beef with "The American Gangster" at UFC 167 due to his pay-per-view (PPV) point demands.
Nevertheless, Sonnen found himself a dance partner for the historic and stacked show, and while it's not his preference, we likely won't be hearing those infamous quotes we're used to from the sharp-tongued Republican ahead of this 205-pound showdown.
Does that disappoint you?