Chael Sonnen breaks down where Golden Boy blew it

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions entered the MMA market with Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 on November 24. DLH couldn't promote the fight, and couldn't even pronounce Liddell's name. The main event fighters were enticed with with an offer for the lion's share of the PPV, and expected it to be in the hundreds of thousands of buys. Ortiz's earliest estimate was 200,000 buys, but he expected it to go up, maybe to 500,000 buys, or more. Apparently, it may have done as little as 25,000. And Liddell looked like he should have stayed retired.

“Disaster," said Chael Sonnen summung up the event with a single word, as transcribed by Jeff Cain for Yahoo Sports. "I guess you would call it a disaster."

“It gets lost on so many people including people in the business of what promotion mean. It’s storytelling. That’s it. You have to find the story and then you have to be able to tell it and then you have to hope that that story resonates.

“Promotion as a whole is a big experiment. There is no recipe in that. There’s no college in the world that you can go major in fight promotion. There’s no book in any library in the world that you can check out that will tell you about fight promotion. It’s a big experiment and there’s only a few guys alive that know how to do it.”

“So much of this has been a commentary on Oscar De La Hoya in a negative way, which I’m not sure is fair. I don’t know if I totally agree with that, although I find myself perpetuating that. I find myself being a little bit hard on Oscar."

“Look, Oscar is not passionate about mixed martial arts and that was very clear and very obvious. When it comes to storytelling and building anticipation you can not just set up a ring and the rest of it just takes care of itself."

“I’ve heard fighters threaten to leave a promotion and start their own promotion. That’s essentially what we saw here. Chuck and Tito come together and go to Oscar, pitch him on an idea that Oscar was never passionate about, that he was never behind with a story that he simply did not know how to tell. It doesn’t make Oscar a bad promoter. The lesson to be learned in this is you’ve got to stay in your lane.

“Vince McMahon went into football. It didn’t work. Vince McMahon went into bodybuilding. It didn’t work. He goes in wrestling, he can sell out any arena in the world any day of the week that he wants to, but he’s passionate about it. He understands it and he knows what he’s doing."