UFC star and current ESPN analyst Chael “The American Gangster” Sonnen told a story with journalist Gareth A. Davies of a time when they almost staged a fight to garner publicity. Davies released an interview with The American Gangster, and in it, the two discussed their scheme.
Sonnen and Davies were at the weigh-in for UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz in October of 2013. The American Gangster was at the event, which took place in Manchester, to corner Luke Barnatt, and Davies was working as a journalist.
Both men were behind the curtain that was used as a backdrop for the weigh-in ceremony, with UFC president Dana White on the other side.
Telling the story, The American Gangster said, “Gareth and I decided it would be a great idea if we got into a mock fight and just came tumbling through the curtain, [and] fell onto the stage.” The two men would pretend to fight, and then look up at Dana White, who would presumably be standing there shocked.
“We almost did this, this isn’t a joke,” Sonnen continued. “This wasn’t a joke where we were trying to workshop ideas. We were going to do it.”
“We were going to bust through the scene and end up on TMZ, and I think we both would have been big heroes. We both would have ended up being fired, but at that time, we thought we were going to be famous.”
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Chael Sonnen Is Known For His Promotional Skills & Hyping Up Fights
Doing something that was described in the story above is right in the wheelhouse of The American Gangster. Sonnen is regarded as one of the best trash talkers in UFC history and has an uncanny ability to promote fights. He built himself from a relatively unknown fighter to one of the biggest stars in the sport.
He gained notoriety in his first fight against Anderson Silva back at UFC 117 in August of 2010. Throughout the entire build-up to the match, The American Gangster verbally thrashed the middleweight champion. Sonnen ultimately lost the fight by a last-minute submission by Silva, but Sonnen dominated the fight up to that point.
After the fight with Silva, The American Gangster rapidly became one of the biggest stars in the sport and has received praise for his promotional abilities by fighters like Conor McGregor, Ben Askren and Colby Covington.