Former UFC title contender and working as an analyst for ESPN, Chael Sonnen appeared on MMAJunkie Radio recently to discuss the problems that the UFC faced with UFC 189.
As you know by now, the UFC announced that Jose Aldo is out of UFC 189. It’ll be Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title at UFC 189. UFC President Dana White officially announced the news on Sportscenter on Tuesday night.
Sonnen, who is not afraid to say what’s on his mind, stated that he believes Aldo missed a big opportunity when he choice not to fight at the event and that the UFC may be hesitant to put Aldo back in the Octagon soon.
“I don’t think the UFC is going to be in a big hurry to put Jose Aldo back in the ring,” Sonnen today told MMAjunkie Radio. “He is the champion, so per the competitive architecture, they’re going to have to. But – he burned them five times. As quick as you can get that belt off Aldo and not give him a shot to get it back, not only has he burned you five times, but he is the worst drawing champ of all time.”
Many people believe Aldo and the UFC would not be in this position if it hadn’t been for Aldo’s training partner, who decided it was a good idea to throw a spinning back kick to the ribs of Aldo just weeks before arguably the biggest fight in Aldo’s career.
Sonnen took a strong stance against this.
“You’ve got to have training partners you can trust,” Sonnen said. “I could be sparring with a guy and he forgot his mouthpiece, it wouldn’t matter. I’m not going to loosen his tooth, ever. If he goes with me, he’s going to leave in the same condition that he showed up in. He can trust me. Those are the kind of guys that you want to be working out with.
“Accidents happen. This could have been an accident. But it was a spinning kick to the midsection. That’s a very hard strike to control – it’s the same reason we don’t throw elbows in practice. They’re just too hard to control, and if one gets away, even a light one, it can cut your opponent and he’s going to need stitches. There are some things you just don’t do on a partner; you save it for the heavy bag. I’m very confused as to how this even happened 10 days before a title fight.”
Sonnen finished the interview by saying that Aldo missed an opportunity to put his name on the map even if he lost the fight.
He compared it to his feud with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen fought and lost twice to Silva in championship bouts.
“This was his opportunity,” Sonnen said. “It was a lot like with me and Anderson (Silva) – Anderson was a terrible drawing champion, and then he had a challenger that came along and made him interesting. I think Aldo’s world would have changed next Saturday, win or lose. I think he was going to win, but even if he lost, he would have been on the map. And now he’s missed that opportunity.”
UFC 189 takes place on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event will be shown on pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.