Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The first round of the 2018 Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix is now completed:
•Chael Sonnen beat ‘Rampage’ Jackson via Unanimous Decision at Bellator 192 on January 20.
•Matt Mitrione beat Roy Nelson via Majority Decision at Bellator 194 on February 16, 2018.
•Fedor Emelianenko beat Frank Mir via KO at Bellator 196 on April 28.
•Ryan Bader beat Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal via KO at Bellator 199 on May 12.

Sonnen now fights the heavyweight G.O.A.T. Emelianenko. The obvious marketing slant is the sainted, stoic, Russian martial artist vs. the bad guy American wrestler. However, during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Sonnen took an interesting approach.


“I don’t know about the whole respect thing,” said Sonnen, as transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “He seems like a perfectly nice guy, I don’t think I would want to take anything from him, but it’s a gimmick, right? All the guys are working a gimmick. He found his gimmick. He found a little something with the respect and the humbleness and looking like Dumpy Dwarf getting interviewed by his translator Snow White there.

“That’s good for some people. It doesn’t do a damn thing for me. I’m not impressed by it, I don’t fall for it. At the end of the day, behind that little frumpy look on his face and the little doughy bald head is a dirty, rotten cage fighter just like me.”

“You bring up his Japan record, I don’t give a damn about that, either. Those fights were fixed over there. Does that mean they all were or all of his, I don’t even know why we go down that road. If you’ve got a promoter that’s fixing fights, the whole thing is tarnished and his whole thing is tarnished. It only counts what he did in North America and if he can get over on me, it’ll be the staple in his hat. Because he’s never fought anybody like me before.”


“Man, you’re getting in a steel cage half naked looking to whip somebody’s ass. You’re a scumbag and so am I. If you want to sell some t-shirts that way, have at it. You’ve got your style and I’ve got mine. But I’m not buying it and I don’t give a damn about it.”