Promoting my #BellatorNYC title fight against Michael Chandler has been a dream come true.
On June 24, I’m fighting for the belt at #MadisonSquareGarden, with guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, and some guys that I looked up to when I first started watching #PRIDE. It’s literally a true honor, for sure, and it was great that Bellator brought me to New York for the kickoff press conference. It was a great opportunity to spend some time with MMA’s best self-promoter, #ChaelSonnen.
Me and Chael have actually done some training together for this fight; we’ve gotten in a lot of good rounds. And while he’s serious in training, and one of the most humble and coolest dudes you’ll ever meet, away from the cameras, Chael is a slick dude with a sick mouth when the media’s around.
I couldn’t keep a straight face when we were doing the press conference. I don’t think anybody can.
I really don’t know where Chael comes up with all that stuff, all the stuff he says off the top of his head. I’m sure some of it’s a little bit rehearsed, but man …
Actually, before Chael started doing his thing, I was a little nervous -- it was my first big press conference. Then, once I started hearing Chael talk, I felt like I was at a comedy show.
Sitting up there with Chael, I realized how cool it is to have somebody like that in the sport, instead of everyone being all serious and mean mugging everybody else, trying to act all tough. Chael brings a little laughter into the situation, and it’s been an honor to train with him.
Fortunately, we still have one more big press event together before fight night, so I’ll get another chance to catch the Chael show on June 22 before we both fight at the garden.
That presser is the day before weigh ins, so the extra dose of comedy will come at the perfect time, just as I’m getting ready to make weight and challenge for the world lightweight title.