When it comes to #ChaelSonnen, the lead-up to a fight is usually just as entertaining as the bout itself.
A notorious wordsmith, Sonnen has delivered some of mixed martial arts' greatest lines and trash talk. Sonnen knows how to turn a phrase with biting wit, so it was no surprise to hear him in fine form at the Bellator NYC press conference.
Below is a collection of Chael Sonnen's best quotes, jokes, and verbal jabs; he takes on Wanderlei Silva at #MadisonSquareGarden in the Bellator NYC main event on June 24.
"Yeah, who knows? There’s a camaraderie that comes with competition, but not always. Sometimes you follow protocol and procedure which is, you shake the other guy’s hand and you leave it there until you get in the back and you want to do it all over again."
"I don’t wish him well and he doesn’t wish me well. And If you hear Wanderlei’s side, I’m the bad guy in the story, and if you hear my side he’s the bad guy -- I’m sure there’s enough blame to go around. But, I don’t really see what the difference is. Let’s fight." - Chael Sonnen
"I’ve stayed away from him. I haven’t seen Wanderlei until just now, and I don’t know if I made eye contact with him here … he came out in an interview and said he wanted to taste my blood, and it’s like, come on man, Dan Henderson knocked the taste out of your mouth ten years ago. You can’t taste a goddamn thing."
"One thing about Wanderlei, he’s a cage fighter. I’m a cage fighter. I had my first fight in 1997. I don’t know where this term mixed martial arts and all this stuff came from. I’m not a martial artist, I don’t wear bathrobes, and I damn sure don’t bow to people, so when they lock that door man, we’re gonna be two half-naked men. With very limited rules, we are going to fight."
"And, as far as emotion goes, people say this shouldn’t be personal, but it is personal. I can’t think of anything more personal than having to fight a guy."
"As far as Wanderlei and I, man, we never got it right. We never got it right from the beginning, and we’ve been trying to fight one another, and we both ended up in the principal’s office after we both had signed contracts, but here were are." - Chael Sonnen
"I didn’t know if Wanderlei was gonna show up. I really didn’t. Baseball rules -- he had two strikes against him. He missed a press conference, he missed a second press conference, and the last trick was if he’d land in New York. And as soon as I got out of the cab at the hotel, I thought I saw him. I saw some guy in a crosswalk with a bald head that looked disheveled and lost, and I was pretty sure that’s Wanderlei, so I didn’t know if they were gonna use a revolving door. There was talk of Randy Couture coming in, or a Plan B. I didn’t really know what I was preparing for, but as far fighting Wanderlei Silva, I had to fight him before in the streets with no notice, so it doesn’t make a bit of difference to me."
"I tell you. I’ve never been so motivated. I haven’t been a motivated athlete in 10 years. I’ve been a very disciplined athlete. In The last 10 years I fought for five world championships, sold out six different arenas, but I wasn’t motivated. I had to operate on discipline. Showing up to practice, I was there, on time, every single day, but it was tough. It was tough to get in the car and get there. Motivation isn’t something you can control. You either got it, or you don’t. And losing to Tito was so embarrassing -- worst fighter in the history of the sport, I lose to him. You know, it’s like if you beat a guy that’s a champion, you get to call yourself a champion. If you lose to a bum, you’re a bum, and that doesn’t sit well. I made changes that night."
"It’s definitely going to happen. As soon as I saw him here -- I accuse Wanderlei of a lot of things, but being a coward isn’t one of them. He’s not showing up in New York and finding an excuse between now and then.
"Madison SQUARE Garden, shaped like a circle. Great job New York. And I went to the Manhattan Bridge this morning. What kind of brainstorm session went on when your legislators came up with that name? How much thought was put into that? I’d be so curious as to what name came in second, like Ralph, or Fred or something? What else would you call it? Maybe you guys will make Broadway narrow next. Oh wait, you already did. Do you have any comment on that? Madison SQUARE Garden."
"Hello little sweet potato, what was the question? I was a little distracted … hmm, pretty excited as a matter of fact. But back to the fight …"
"Let me tell you something young lady, and send this back home to your people because on 6/24 at 7 P.M., 10 in the east, and only on pay-per-view, Chael Sonnen Promotions in conjunction with Bellator NYC are going to bring you the biggest grudge match in history. And when all is said and done, it’s gonna be one more in the win column, one more for the highlight reel, and one more for the bad guy." - Chael Sonnen
"I don’t think he’s given an acceptable answer as to where he was the day JFK got shot. Don’t forget about that. That’s made me mad for a few years. Can I weigh in on the Mitrione thing. I say this as a fan. But these two guys are completely distracting me, and it’s very hard sometimes to be the main event when you’re the kind of fan I am." - Chael Sonnen
"I feel like Matt Mitrione is the best heavyweight of his time. He’s taking on the best heavyweight of all time. This is one of the most exciting and perfect fight announcements I’ve ever seen. I just want to share that with you, just so we can keep the dialogue going, you and me."
"I feel like you’re asking if I’m clean. Am I interpreting that right?
We kind of have a difference here on semantics. You say clean, and I would say clean-ish. Is that good enough? Like, I don’t want to be judged like the other guys. I want to be graded more like on a curve … in a world of sinners are any of us really clean?" - Chael Sonnen
"I am ready for a cheese steak, as a matter of fact. They don’t put mayonnaise on them in this town. I don’t really understand that, but they’re pretty good."
More from Bellator NYC:
- Bellator NYC: MMA's Tipping Point?
- James Gallagher: 'I'm on the Way to Greatness and I Want That Belt'
- After Title Fight With ‘Desperate’ Phil Davis, Ryan Bader Welcomes Bout Against Wanderlei Silva