When Chael Sonnen took to the stage last Friday in Philadelphia as part of a Q&A session with fans there was little doubt the middleweight would deliver a slew of memorable soundbytes as he has so many times in the past. With Mike Goldberg playing the role of sidekick, the 34-year old grappler was two guests and a musical act away from turning the festivities into a full blown late night talk-show given his comical, candid takes on a number of topics including steroids, his favorite “pink shirt, earring wearing” UFC champion, and his treatment by the California State Athletic Commission.
Asked about fighters who use performance enhancing drugs, Sonnen provided a response that would undoubtedly make any professional wrestler proud, saying, “There’s two things you can do. If somebody does steroids, you can kick ‘em out and throw them away forever, or you can open up an ‘all steroid’ league and let the games begin. I really don’t care either way. Put it in your body, don’t put it in your body…one on one, two on one, five on one…I’ll make sure they all need 9-1-1.”
Not surprising, it wasn’t long before talk turned to Anderson Silva and his upcoming title-defense against Yushin Okami at UFC 134 and who he’d rather face down the road. The former top contender, who has been training Okami for the fight, started out cordially, then exited off Reality Road for a stroll through Sonnenville.
“I’m gonna have to fight both of those guys. Yushin and I have fought before, Yushin and I have fought as recently as two days ago. We are definitely gonna meet up again in the Octagon. There’s no way around that,” Sonnen began before upping the wattage on his public persona.
“I am the UFC champion. That belt is nothing more than a piece of tin when it’s around Anderson Silva’s waist. I am the peoples’ champion, I am the linear champion, and I’m the best damn middleweight to ever live,” he continued. “So, after Brian Stann and I do business, Dana (White) and I will sit down like we always do. We’ll review a whole bunch of Strikeforce contracts. I imagine my paper airplane collection will get a lot bigger if you know what I mean. And then we will decide if I will be GRANTING Silva a shot at my championship.”
Though Sonnen never definitively picked either as a preferred opponent his phrasing implied he still expects Silva to be the belt-wearing champ after the August fight, referring to “The Spider” as contending for the right to face him once he’s dispatched of Stann at UFC 136.
On the subject of his previous clash with the dynamic Brazilian and subsequent fallout from testosterone use, Sonnen pulled no punches, insulting the way Silva found success and the testing procedures used by the CSAC.
“Are you talking about the night when I won the middleweight championship and they tarnished and took it from me after I whipped a man’s ass for twenty-five minutes, he wrapped his legs around my head for eight-seconds and they declared him the winner? Is that what you’re asking about,” Sonnen pondered rhetorically. “Or are you talking about the injustice they did to me over the past seven months? My phone rings, they call me up and they say “Chael your testosterone level is too high.” I say well, how high was it? They say ‘.7’ I say what’s normal? ‘.6’ I said, ‘One tenth??? You’re telling me I’m one tenth higher than the average man? Retest that, you must have caught me on a low day.’ I told them to feast their eyes and fantasize. I offer no apology, that’s testosterone ladies and gentlemen.
“And on top of that, what do you mean higher than the norm? Who are you comparing me to? The pink shirt, earring wearing guy I just fought? Well of course. They say ‘Well Mr. Sonnen, what are you telling us?” I say, ‘Well isn’t it obvious what I’m telling you? Chael Sonnen is too goddamn macho for the standardized testing procedures of the California State Control Board.’”
Jokes aside, though it may be hard to take Sonnen seriously during one of his infamous rants there’s no question he’s as good as they get at 185 pounds with past wins over Okami, Nate Marquardt, Dan Miller, and numerous other notable adversaries. He will face Stann in Houston on October 8.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC