Thursday, December 9, 2021

Chael Sonnen: Ronda Rousey’s A Media Creation Like “Wimps” Bruce Lee & Gene LeBell

Retired former three time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen was a guest on the latest edition of Submission Radio (embedded above), discussing a number of topics including Ronda Rousey’s first loss. Chael being Chael, he couldn’t help but rile people up in the process.

Why he thinks Rousey is a media creation:

So here’s the deal with Ronda. Ronda goes out, she’s in a division that if you wanna be, you know, if you’re a top 15 fighter at any point in your life, that’s a lifetime achievement. You can go and tell your grandkids about that, that your granddad was top 15 in the world. That’s a really exciting thing. In that division, if you wanna be top 15 all you have to do is make the weight class and raise your hand. There are not 15 girls on planet earth that are fighting. It’s a really rare thing. So the division, you know, when a division sucks and you’re an analyst and you wanna be respected in the sport, you can’t come out and say a division sucks. It doesn’t sound right, particularly when you talk about women. So you have to change your words and say ‘well the division is developing’. So gentlemen, I will say to you now…the division is developing.

But why does he think that Bruce Lee and Gene LeBell were “wimps” and how does that relate to Rousey?.

So when you have a developing division, somebody’s going to take it over. So Ronda took it over. And good for her. But the reality is, that’s what it is, it’s a developing division. Now, anybody that is created by the media has one thing in common and that is Los Angles, California. I’ll explain. Bruce lee, who everybody covets as this wonderful fighter. Bruce Lee was a wimp. Bruce Lee couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag. But he lived in Los Angles, California, so he was able to bring people that were in the media; producers, directors, future actors. He took them in their backyard, he kicked their ass, he was a wimp. But he found people who were wimpier than he was and eventually they got to media outlets and TV and movies and they all spread the legend of Bruce Lee. So good for him.

You know, there’s a guy named Judo Gene LeBell. I don’t want to tease Gene LeBell. He’s a thousand years old, but Gene LeBell has this huge myth around him that he was some kind of a tough guy. Gene LeBell in his prime could not make the varsity wrestling team at my local high school. But he lived in Los Angeles, California, so he’d bring guys into his garage and he’d put them in armbars and chokeholds. And again, Gene LeBell was a wimp but the guys that he beat up were bigger wimps, and they went on to make it in TV and movies and they went and spread the legend. And that’s the way it goes.

I mean, you could keep going down the list. Steven Segal. All these myths – Van Damme. All these guys that suck, they all had one thing in common. That was Los Angeles, California. So Ronda lived in Los Angeles, California – that’s where she lives right now – so she can get major media outlets and major people that are famous and have a voice, you know, to go out and perpetuate things. Look, she’s a solid, durable fighter, but the truth on Judo, guys, is Judo has never had a level of effectiveness in MMA. There’s never been a Judo champion in the history of the UFC. There’s never been anybody even close. There’s never been somebody that fought for the title that was a Judo practitioner. There was never anybody in an elimination fight that was a Judo practitioner. It’s a terrible, ineffective form of combat, and if you knew the history of Judo you’d lose all your respect for it. I’ll tell you it real quick if you want it, but Judo is very ineffective. So you have Ronda, that’s a really good competitor, but she comes from a sport that’s just not very effective.

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