Friday, September 30, 2022

White Brands Sonnen’s Edwards Take “Completely Unfair”

UFC President Dana White has criticized Chael Sonnen after the former title challenger suggested that Leon Edwards “cheated” his way to victory at UFC 278.

At the most recent pay-per-view, Edwards provided a moment that will no doubt be the frontrunner for a number of end-of-2022 awards — namely, upset of the year and comeback of the year, and perhaps even knockout of the year…

“Rocky” staked his claim for those with a head kick that no one saw coming. With a minute left until a certain loss on the scorecards for Edwards and another comfortable defense for Kamaru Usman, the Jamaican-born Brit landed a perfectly set-up kick that instantly slept “The Nigerian Nightmare.”

Leon Edwards, Kamaru Usman
Zuffa LLC

The immediate post-fight aftermath saw an emotional Edwards drinking in the moment, both inside the Octagon and on the phone to his mother backstage. And despite being nearly two weeks on, the fight-ending shot is still being replayed over and over.

But in amongst the celebrations and the praise directed Edwards’ way, one former UFC star arrived with a negative assessment of the newly crowned champ’s path to gold.

In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Sonnen suggested that Edwards had “cheated” on numerous occasions by grabbing the fence to prevent Usman taking him into compromising positions.

“The American Gangster” even suggested that Edwards might not have made it to the fifth round had he not gotten away with what he described as deliberate foul play.

“There’s a lot more in Leon versus Usman and nobody spoke of it,” Sonnen said. “Kamaru is apparently too much of a gentleman… But Leon cheated in that match a whole bunch of times… Leon was frustrated in positions and had no way out of positions to the extent that he cheated repeatedly, not once, not on accident, not the ref didn’t see it… the ref broke the act five or six times.

“So now you’re in a fifth round that you never should’ve been in potentially, you take a kick in a fight that you were winning, that you were trying to finish, and you had the position you needed to get said finish and the opponent cheated three times… it’s a strong word to say cheated, but what other word do you want to use?”

Following Sonnen’s comments, a number of fans slammed the take, with many pointing out Usman’s own discretions throughout the Utah-held headliner, which went largely ignored by referee Herb Dean.

The latest to address the remarks was promotional head honcho White, who gave a firm assessment of Sonnen’s opinion.

White Brands Sonnen Comments “Ridiculous”

During the post-fight press conference following this week’s episode of Dana White’s Contender Series, the UFC president’s attention was directed towards Sonnen’s video.

After laughing off the idea that Edwards took the strap away from Usman by way of fence grabs, White suggested that it is “completely unfair” to try and take away from the Brit’s comeback victory with accusations of cheating.

“He became champion with a head kick,” White said whilst laughing. “He didn’t win by grabbing the fence. I mean, he got absolutely dominated in that whole fight except for the couple minutes in the first round. That’s completely unfair of Chael Sonnen to say that.

“That kid sucked it up, dug down deep, and landed literally the perfect head kick with like a minute left of the fight. So, I would say that’s silly, ridiculous, and absolutely unfair to say about Leon,” White added.

Edwards hasn’t made any comment relating to Sonnen’s take as of yet, and given that the belt is in his possession, it stands to reason that he won’t be directing any attention to it, especially when fallen opponent Usman hasn’t made any such claims and has been gracious in defeat.

Both men’s focus will soon be on a trilogy fight, which appears to be the inevitable first defense for the Englishman’s reign.

Do you agree with Dana White’s assessment of Chael Sonnen’s remarks?

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