Chael has been critical of Francis Ngannou leaving the UFC
Chael Sonnen was only one of many UFC-adjacent types who spent much of the spring of 2023 ripping Francis Ngannou’s choice to leave the UFC and sign with the Professional Fighting League.
In April, Sonnen was talking about Ngannou’s age and allegedly frail health and trying to imply that a boxing match with Tyson Fury was at best a pipe dream. Here’s what he said at a BKFC presser in April:
“There are not a lot of (opponent options),” Sonnen said. “If we’re playing chess here, I don’t have two or three steps for Francis. I don’t know how old Francis is. He says he’s 36. He’s at least 36. I don’t know how old he is. I’m not sure he knows how old he is.
“I don’t bring that up to try to be funny. His body has already given out on him. He’s already telling somebody, ‘I’m on the free market. Bid a whole bunch of money for me. By the way, I’ve got a bad knee.’ Nobody in the world… no coach looks at a guy who is hurt and old and pays him a bigger check. It’s a really weird situation. I want him to get it figured out. I don’t say it to tease him. Time is ticking. Everyday he’s not signed, he’s losing.
“Let me put this in perspective for you. This is a very big deal. Three days ago was April 1 and they put out an April 1 joke. Tyson Fury put out an April 1 joke on social media that he and Francis was done and they are fighting in Wembley on May 15.
“Tyson Fury made a joke. Francis has changed his whole life. His whole life is different because he thought he was going to make up a sport and do it with a guy who is now using it as an April Fool’s joke. What ever has happened here? He’s got to get some cold water. He has to wake up and he needs to call back his boss.”
Sonnen pivots to attacking Fury
Sonnen went on The Schmo this week and changed his angle of attack now that the bout is signed, sealed and delivered (transcribed by MMA Mania).
“It’s the most ridiculous sporting competition of our lifetime,” Sonnen said. “Let me give you an example. Take the Lakers and the real Lakers right back when they had the guy named Shaq and Kobe Bryant; rest his soul. I don’t know if LeBron was ever on that team.
“But remember when they were really good? And you got Phil Jackson as a coach; take them and go put them against [Tom] Brady and The Patriots. Right? You got these great teams, but you’re gonna go do it under football rules. Do you see how stupid it is? Do you see why it’s never happened? You see why it’s never even been discussed? That’s what’s happening here.
“What kind of a scumbag is Fury, though, man? I really gotta tell you, Fury broke my heart. I liked this guy, and I liked the entertainment. I like so many things about him,” Sonnen said. You take a guy like Fury, who God made huge, gave great coaches, great training partners, great experiences, too. He has weapons and tools that other men can’t deal with if they’re not armed.
“And he’s going to choose to use those to beat up a guy who’s at least 37 with no experience and is on one leg. That’s a bully, and it’s a scumbag. I would never do that to somebody…Jesse James made a lot of money, and there’s hitmen that made a lot of money. I mean, there’s things that you can do, but you own it. You’re a bully, and you’re a scumbag.”
I’m sure Francis Ngannou is grateful to Sonnen standing up for him against mean old Tyson Fury.
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