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Chael Sonnen puts UFC fans in check: Stephen A. Smith is the one who deserves an apology!

Chael Sonnen has competed for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is currently employed by ESPN, so I feel comfortable calling him an expert in both mixed martial arts (MMA) fandom and sports analysis.

That’s why the former two-division title contender is trying to keep UFC fans honest before they finish counting their pitchforks and lighting their torches. Not because ESPN troublemaker Stephen A. Smith isn’t a professional troll, but rather because the power-punching analyst was grossly misinterpreted.

And UFC fans get mad when anyone outside the industry shits on MMA fighters because hey, that’s their job!

“To act as though he’s not an MMA expert, he’s not pretending he is,” Sonnen said. “To act as though the analysis he gave as a viewer, who witnessed something, he’s right. Nobody here was insulted. Somebody here was misinterpreted. That somebody is Stephen A. and many people owe him an apology.”

I guess the list starts with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, along with UFC 246 headliner Conor McGregor. Both jumped to the defense of Donald Cerrone after “Cowboy” was steamrolled by “Notorious” back on Jan. 18, a finish Smith used as rage bait.

“For Stephen A. to come out and commentate on this — which by the way, I’ll just share with you. The numbers go through the roof when Stephen A. comes to the microphone,” Sonnen explained (transcribed by Bloody Elbow). “So many times in MMA I keep hearing that ‘we want to be mainstream. Why aren’t we mainstream? Why aren’t we being shown the respect of mainstream?’ When you have the most mainstream guy in the sport come and talk on the desk live at the venue about your sport — that by the way, he sat in the front row and observed as a fan — when he comes and does that, and then you reject it, do you really want to be mainstream?”

They probably don’t, which explains why MMA fans stopped buying TapouT shirts once they started popping up in Walmart, no doubt a catalyst for this unexpected (but highly-profitable) move back in 2015.

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