Chael Sonnen has not had a good 2011. The former UFC middleweight contender was fined $10,000 and given two years probation on a money laundering charge. He was suspended by the UFC. In applying to the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a fight license after he failed a drug test in California, he ticked off Keith Kizer, the head of the NSAC, which puts his chance of getting a license in jeopardy.
Has all this humbled Sonnen? Convinced him to quiet down and quit talking trash? Not a chance. On Monday’s MMA Hour on MMA Fighting, he didn’t mince words.
"I called them up and said, ‘Give me the worst guy you’ve got under contract,’" he said. "They said, ‘Chael, Wanderlei [Silva] won’t fight you.’ I said, ‘Alright. Give me the second worst guy you’ve got under contract?’ They said, ‘Chael, how many times do we have to tell you: [Mirko] Cro Cop’s a heavyweight.’ I said, ‘Alright, is there anybody available? How about Bisping? Is his dance card open? And then they said that might be a possibility. So that’s where we left off. But that’s just not my focus. My focus is making things right with director Kizer."
Ah, there’s the Chael we know and tolerate. Ripping people he can’t possibly fight because of their fight obligations — Silva is facing Chris Leben at UFC 132 — or the fact that they outweigh Sonnen by at least 50 lbs.
Next, he rips light heavyweights for not calling out Jon Jones enough.
"The hot topic that everybody should be talking about is that he’s been the champion for three weeks and not one coward at 205 has challenged him. Not one guy has called him out and said, ‘I want to fight that guy.’ If you’re all scared of a 23-year-old kid, turn your gloves in, sign your pink slip and show yourself the door."
That ignores the fact that most of the top light heavyweights have a fight in front of them, or just completed one. Of the MMA Weekly Top 10 205 lbers, three (Machida, Bader and Jackson) have fights in the next three months. Jones and Rua just fought, Dan Henderson isn’t in the UFC, Thiago Silva is suspended and Rashad Evans is already slated to fight Jones. That leaves Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who just lost to Phil Davis, or Forrest Griffin.
Fine, Chael. Why hasn’t Griffin called out Jones? Perhaps it’s because he knew that Evans was already going to fight Jones and a "call out" would be a waste of breath?
That’s just Chael being Chael. But to put the rough start of 2011 behind him, Sonnen might consider how running his mouth got him into trouble with the NSAC. Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Maybe it’s time for a change, Chael.