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Chael Sonnen commends Conor McGregor's self-promotion, but says Raphael Assuncao needs to step it up

That's not much of a surprise.


Sometimes, to get yourself noticed in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), you have to step outside of the box, or in this case, the Octagon. Because sometimes, not always, wins simply aren't enough to get you to where you want to be in the sport.

Case in point, Conor McGregor.

The brash Irishman burst onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) scene just a year ago and a half ago, and he already has media attention other longtime veterans can only hope for. That's because "Notorious" isn't one to bite his tongue and isn't afraid to self-promote to get his share of the spotlight.

And it doesn't hurt that he can back it all up inside the cage, like this.

Then there's Raphael Assuncao, the soft-spoken bantamweight who has more than taken care of business inside the Octagon. When it comes to the media, however, the Brazilian fails miserably.

That's according to the Godfather of self-promotion, Chael Sonnen, who said that his inability to build himself up verbally like McGregor is one of the reasons Assuncao isn't getting much of a push for a title fight.

"The American Gangster" explained his stance on the premier episode of his new podcast dubbed, You're Welcome! (via Fighter's Only):

"I watched [Raphael] Assuncao - I know Assuncao, he's a very nice guy and one heck of a fighter - they give him an interview the other day, it was so bad. He's smiling there with a boyish grin. When they say, 'Will this [win] get you the attention and the nod?' he says, 'I hope so.' What kind of a way to go through life is that? Hope is not a plan. If you want something you go out and demand it. If you want something go out and claim it, say that it's yours!"

That's a drastic contrast when you compare him with Conor's approach, say Sonnen:

"Conor McGregor showed up recently with a belt (on the UFC 178 post-fight show on FOX following his win over Dustin Poirier) and a lot of people are saying, 'That was ridiculous.' Well, a lot of other people thought he was the champ. A lot of people didn't know he was just showing up with the belt, a lot of people were just tuning in. When a little old lady from Iowa turns on her TV and sees this Irishman and a twelve-pound gold belt, she's going to assume he's the champion. Good for Conor and bad for everybody else."

Many have compared McGregor's tactics to those of Chael's, saying he's nothing more than a copycat and is using something that the former middleweight contender used to get himself on the map.

As far as Sonnen is concerned, if Conor is indeed mirroring his approach, it doesn't bother him one bit because at the end of the day, he copied someone else.

"Yeah, but I'm ripping someone off, too. I can't remember who else did that, maybe that one was an original, maybe I came up with that one on my own. But so what? We're all stealing each other's ideas, that's what the world is. We don't need to go out there and create new things. Not everything is a new recipe. If somebody's doing something and you like what they're doing, find out what they did to get there and go out and copy it. Whether Conor McGregor's grabbing something that I used to do, or I'm grabbing something that somebody else used to do - if something works you go out there and you take from it. You don't sit back and criticize it."

McGregor is expected to challenge for the UFC featherweight title next, as he will face the winner of the UFC 179 main event between division champion Jose Aldo and No. 1 contender Chad Mendes, which goes down on Oct. 25, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

As for Assuncao, he's awaiting his next challenge after racking up his seventh straight win at UFC Fight Night 54 a few weeks ago against Bryan Caraway. It won't be a title shot, though, as that belongs to Dominick Cruz.

"The Dominator" jumped in front of the line after blitzing through Takeya Mizugaki in a hot minute (see it) at UFC 178, putting Assuncao's championship dreams on hold.

That, and Raphael failed to step up to the mic and demand to get what's rightfully his, according to Sonnen.

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