From athletes to coaches to even UFC president Dana White, the mixed martial arts world lost its collective mind after #MerylStreep took a slight dig at MMA during her acceptance speech at the #GoldenGlobes. However, one fighter who wasn't completely outraged by her remarks is brash #Bellator star Chael Sonnen.
Although the outspoken veteran hates to see Hollywood talk politics, he just couldn't bring himself to get angry over Streep's statements. Why you ask? Well, as it turns out, Sonnen is quite the fan of the decorated actress.
"She's just so talented, man. She might be the best ever. I respect her work so much," Sonnen told Champions in an exclusive interview. "As far as her comments on the arts and taking a dig, I was a little bit surprised. It wasn't just martial arts, I think football took a little bump there too. I'm not sure what they did wrong. We love that she's on TV and has the opportunity. I think that she should also love that we have the same opportunity."
Sonnen admits that situations like this tend to infuriate him, but he's willing to give Streep some leeway due to her amazing career on screen. He hopes the Florence Foster Jenkins star will accept Bellator president Scott Coker's invitation to Sonnen's upcoming fight against Tito Ortiz at #Bellator170 later this month.
"Normally it would piss me off, but she's so good. I just respect her so much as far as her talent goes," Sonnen said. "She's entertained me more than once over the years. I give her a little room and hope she takes president Coker up on his invitation. I think that was very generous and it was sincere. If she wants to come, he'll get her the best seats in the house."
As for Sonnen's own foray into the world of show business, the light-heavyweight opened up about his interesting time competing on The New Celebrity Apprentice.
Sonnen had nothing but praise for action movie icon and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took over the hosting duties for incoming president Donald Trump.
"Schwarzenegger was awesome, man. I genuinely looked forward to seeing him everyday," Sonnen said. "He was just a positive energy and a positive guy and it was magnetic. You'd be around him and you'd just leave in a good mood. And not all the conversations were pleasant, but he just had a way about him. He was a really, really great guy, great man."
Aside from hanging out with #TheTerminator, Sonnen had some issues working in television. The former UFC title contender revealed that he hated having to wait around all the time during filming.
"As far as TV goes, TV sucks," Sonnen said. "You're paid to wait. The only cool thing about is to tell your friends you did it. It's a pain in the ass. You sit around. It's the slowest ran job I've ever been on. I used to be a plumber. Man, if we worked that slow, we would be going home."
Sonnen did enjoy the competition aspect of the show, although he wasn't impressed by his fellow celebrities. That's why Sonnen always seems to sport a stoic face in the boardroom, even when his team wins.
"They called it Celebrity Apprentice. They should've called it Chael Sonnen's 15 Idiots," Sonnen said. "How am I going to get impressed? We're taking on the girls team. They're as smart as a box of rocks collectively. I didn't know that it was real. I thought it was kind of a formality. You walk in there, they're going to tell us who won, and move on to the next one. I was a little surprised all the rest of my teammates, they acted like they were surprised they won."
And since Sonnen's upcoming opponent has also competed on The Celebrity Apprentice in the past, you can guess how he thinks a fantasy match-up between them on the reality series would go down.
"Tito would come up short, just like everybody on this season did," Sonnen said. "Eventually, week after week, one by one, I chop all their heads off."