Thursday, June 23, 2022

Sonnen Asks MMA Community: “Could Khabib Whip My Ass?”

Seeing Khabib Nurmagomedov grappling with Luke Rockhold has got Chael Sonnen thinking, ‘Could he do the same to me?’

In the eyes of many, Khabib, a former UFC Lightweight Champion, holds status as the greatest of all time in the sport of mixed martial arts. How did he reach such a prominent place in the GOAT debate? His wrestling.

In classic Dagestani fashion, “The Eagle” dominated many of his opponents with his pressure wrestling, engulfing them on the ground and often forcing his foes into submission holds, a fate that befell Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje in championship clashes prior to Khabib’s retirement.

One point often brought up by Khabib’s detractors is that he spent the entirety of his 13-0 UFC career fighting at 155 pounds. Nevertheless, many of the Russian’s training partners have suggested that he’d have found success whatever the weight, with a number of stories from the gym being told about the UFC legend besting heavier fighters on the mats.

Fans were recently given an insight into one such instance, with a video of Khabib grappling former UFC Middleweight Champion Rockhold at AKA emerging.

Reacting to the clip in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, former light heavyweight and middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen pondered whether Khabib could manhandle him on the ground in the same way.

“Guys, do you think Khabib could whip my ass? Do you think that? Nobody’s ever said it to me. I’ve never thought it. Khabib? ’55lber?” Sonnen asked. “Could Khabib whip my ass? Could he whip me in grappling? We’re both retried fighters, could he beat me in grappling? We could still do that.”

Sonnen spoke about how, like many in the MMA community, he’d heard stories of Khabib’s success against higher-weight fighters in training. Having seen it firsthand, and against a talent grappler like Rockhold no less, Sonnen has been left thinking about a grappling threat he’d never considered: a lightweight.

“I’ve heard the stories of Khabib, as have you. But seeing them is very difficult. I have seen them against 155lbers. I have heard about them all the way up to Daniel Cormier. I didn’t get to see it till today. A training video came out of Khabib on the ground with Rockhold.

“Now, it’s not fair to do these ’cause you have no idea the context. That could’ve been fair and that could’ve been straight up, ‘Luke’s fresh, Khabib’s fresh.’ But it could also be that Luke, who’s a training fighter, was exhausted and had done three or four rounds. But either way, I saw Khabib in one of these situations that I’ve only heard about. I could not do to Luke what Khabib did to Luke. I could tell you that. Luke Rockhold is a bear on the ground.”

With that said, Sonnen, who’s shared the mats with talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners like Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida and Garry Tonon, posed the question again…

“Can Khabib whip my ass?”

So, what do you think folks?

Could Khabib Nurmagomedov out-grapple Chael Sonnen?

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