Chael Sonnen Talks About Not Liking Michael Bisping, Strategy, Why He Picks On Certain Fighters
Below is an excerpt of an interview recently done by The USA Today in which Chael Sonnen talks about his dislike of Michael Bisping:
Sergio Non: In some ways, Bisping’s about as far from Munoz stylistically as you can get. How concerned are you about being able to adjust your game plan so close to the fight?
Chael Sonnen: I’ve never had a game plan. I don’t fully know what it means. I hear the term, especially in boxing, I hear guys talk about their plan or refer fighting to a game or whatever. I’ve never done that. I’ve never been part of that. I don’t really know what it means fully.
So I don’t care. I don’t care about that at all.
My focus is on me. It’s not on whoever they put across from me.
SN: Given that Bisping tends to keep his fights standing, how likely are we to see a repeat of your approach in the Brian Stann fight?
CS: You never know. I don’t ever plan for those things.
With the Stann fight, I felt, “Well, if there’s an opportunity to take him down, maybe I can score some points from down there.” But I didn’t know if I could take him down. I wasn’t confident in it. So you always look at plan B or plan C, what’s going to happen next if this doesn’t happen.
That’s the way my mind works. I kind of jump around a little bit and I do that in an attempt to be prepared for whatever may come at me.
If something opens up, great. But if it doesn’t, we’ve got to adapt too. I’m not a one-trick pony out there; I’m the best fighter in the world. And I’m the best fighter in the world because I can fight anywhere.
SN: Why do you think so many people dislike him, and on the flip side, why don’t you?
CS: I can only guess. He appears to be a little bit brash. He’s definitely cocky and arrogant, which is two qualities that I like in a person. I like a cocky guy and I like an arrogant guy, so he earns points with me in those regards, but I think it turns a lot of people off..
SN: Do you think Bisping could beat Anderson Silva?
CS: Almost any statement can be true if you include the word “could.” I wouldn’t pick him to beat him. I think match-up wise, it may not be that favorable of a stylistic match, but I don’t know.
I don’t like the way Bisping talks. I don’t like the way a lot of these guys talk when it comes to Anderson. They all want to talk about their shot, their shot, their shot.
I don’t want a shot. I’ve never asked Dana White for a shot at the title. I want the title, there’s a tremendous difference between my mindset and everybody else’s.
If you want your name in lights and you want that one big paycheck, go out and get your shot. I don’t want either. I’ve got plenty of money. I’ve got plenty of notoriety. What I don’t have is a 12-pound gold belt reminding me each day that I’m the baddest man God ever made. So that’s what I’m after and that’s what sets me apart from everybody else.
SN: How do you decide which fighters deserve your support and which ones deserve your disdain?
CS: First off, I never go after anybody unless he’s on top.
When I started on the Nogueira brothers — and of course, I leave them alone now; I don’t take any pleasure in them falling from grace, or certainly the big one having to go through an injury; that brings me no pleasure at all. But when I started on them, they were supposedly this untouchable pair, fighters of fighters, men’s men. And I’m looking at it going, “No, you’re not.”
It’s the same thing with Wanderlei Silva. I don’t taking any pleasure in kicking Wanderlei now, now that the word’s out that he’s yesterday’s news.
But at the time when I started picking on him, it’s because nobody else would. A guy puts a tattoo on the back of his skull, puts his beady eyes on you and rolls his wrists around, and all of a sudden the whole world thinks that’s scary. That doesn’t do anything for me. I’ll slap you right on your face while you’re rolling your wrists around. My point wasn’t so much to attack Wanderlei, as it was to let the rest of the world know, “Who cares? Who cares about his tattoo and his beady eyes and his rolly little wrists?
That’s really where it started with Anderson too. Anderson became this untouchable guy. I’ve got to walk around in the back at the UFC and watch fellow fighters ask him for his autograph, and it makes my stomach sick.
If you’re going to be a fighter in the UFC, you need to be fighting for one reason, and that is the championship. If the day comes when I realize that I just can’t reach that championship, I’m out. I’m not going to stick around for a paycheck or for the applause of the crowd. I’m not in it for that. I’m in it for the championship, the one and only reason you should be in this sport.
So my disdain doesn’t necessarily go to the fighters. It goes to fighters that refuse to fight the fighters.