UFC 136: Chael Sonnen Thinks He's "The Most Respectful Guy in the Sport"
However, that doesn't mean Uncle Chael doesn't have any crazy quotes up his sleeve in the final hours leading up to the star-studded event in Houston, Texas.
In an interview with MMAjunkie, the embattled middleweight was certainly not at a loss for words.
"Listen, I don't have a show," Sonnen began. "I just tell it like it is. You guys ask the questions; I answer them."
Just like that, the fireworks went off without any warning.
"I don't manufacture conflict. I think I'm the most respectful guy in this sport," Sonnen proclaimed, for sure gaining the attention of anyone in ear shot.
"I have a vastly different opinion of what respect means than some people. Some people think it's respectful to lie and be nice to your face and bow and put a knife in your back when you turn around," the Team Quest fighter explained.
"I well tell you to your face that when you turn around, I'm going to put a knife in your back, and then I'll do it. That's respect."
Chael Sonnen's definition of respect is certainly a unique one, to say the least.
The self-proclaimed "American gangster from Oregon" surprisingly did not directly talk about a rematch with Anderson Silva this time around, despite the fact that it is a very likely possibility if Sonnen picks up the W.
Who wins at UFC 136?
However, Sonnen had some interesting things to say when talking about his future beyond UFC 136.
"I always look ahead," he said. "I don't ever focus on anything. Again, this doesn't require focus, guys. This is a fistfight for a 15-minute time limit. I can't think of anything less meaningful or important in life than that," Sonnen stated, making it clear that MMA is not the only thing going on in his life.
"You guys have all worked more than 15 minutes just today. So I'm going to have to go work 15 minutes in the last 14 months. I'm not going to sit around and complain about that or act as though I'm building a piano here. It's a fight."
Imagine if there was a YouTube video of Chael Sonnen assembling a piano? That one's got "viral" written all over it.
Surely, Sonnen had a lot to say when talking about his game plan against Brian Stann, right?
"I don't do game plans," Sonnen said flat out. "Listen, guys. You can take all these guys with their eighth-grade education and their gold teeth trying to sit around and break down a fight.
"This is the most unsophisticated and un-well-thought-out thing you need to do in life. Two half-naked men are going to get into a steel cage and fight for the applause of a drunken rowdy crowd in Houston, Texas, on Saturday night. We don't need a plan for this."
It's amazing that some legislators in New York think MMA is a barbarian's sport.
All jokes aside, Sonnen once again said that he has the utmost respect for Brian Stann, and that has been the case since Sonnen commentated Stann's first fight in 2006.
Stann defeated IFL veteran and then Team Quest-fighter Aaron Stark in his professional fighting debut, and Stark was known for his wrestling credentials at that point.
Who would you prefer to see fight Anderson Silva next?
"Brian was a natural," Sonnen recalled. "He fought a national wrestling champion, my teammate Aaron Stark, and he stopped it in a couple minutes of the very first round. I couldn't stop Stark in a couple minutes of the first round. So I was impressed."
Sonnen then reflected on the fact that he could not let a performance of that caliber go unrecognized.
"I grabbed him after the fight, introduced myself and said, 'Man, I just think you're really good. I wanted you to know.' I still think he's really good. When he was green and didn't know much about fighting, he won the world championship in the WEC up a weight class, so I don't question his skills at all."
On a closing thought, Sonnen said he has no issues with being the "heel," or bad guy in this fight, noting that he feels the crowd is free to root for whoever they want.
"Listen, I only ask the crowd to do two things: Be present and be loud," Sonnen stated.
Sonnen versus Stann may determine the next fight with Anderson Silva, although UFC President Dana White said that Dan Henderson's name may be in the mix if Hendo defeats Mauricio"Shogun" Rua at UFC 139.
Jose Aldo versus Kenny Florian for the featherweight title and Frankie Edgar versus Gray Maynard for the lightweight title are the main event fights that will take place after Sonnen versus Stann at the Toyota Center on Saturday.
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