Chael Sonnen says that Khabib is not promoting Oliveira vs. Makhachev correctly.
Whether it’s in the Octagon, on Twitter, or his podcast, “The American Gangers” can always put a spin on things. However, one thing is for certain, he knows how to promote a fight, so when he speaks, the wise listen.
Sonnen: Khabib Not Promoting Oliveira/ Makhachev Correctly
In his latest one-directional argument, Chael puts forward that Khabib is not achieving his full potential as Islam’s coach, and therefore promoter. Even Javier Mendez, AKA founder, claimed that he has never seen anyone but Islam go toe-to-toe with Khabib in training.
However, Chael points out that prior to the bout agreement, both Islam and Khabib were trying to resurrect the rhetoric that Charles is a quitter. This in itself, Chael is not against. However, he asserts that belittling one’s opponent has a time and place:
“Khabib is continuing on with the idea that Charles is not good on the ground. He’s continuing on with the idea that Islam can handle the fight and take care of himself should they get to the ground. And he’s pointing out those eight losses, which was very effective prior to signing the bout agreement. I like that spirit, I like that attitude from Khabib as a way of picking a fight, which we have successfully done once we have signed to fight.
Chael claims that once the bout agreement has been signed, you must flip everything you did to pick the fight. Out with the trash talk, in with the praise. As Chael has pointed out repeatedly, you don’t get credit for beating lesser fighters.
“Now we go into promotion of the fight, I don’t agree [with Khabib’s dismissal of Charles] anymore. I heard Khabib say it earlier today – I don’t agree with it, I think he should be building the opponent. I don’t think he should point out his losses… This fight can only go two ways for Islam. He wins, or he does not win. If he was to get beat if he was to get submitted, the narrative that he’s in there with the absolute greatest submission artist of the sport, and the division, has ever seen, would be very helpful.”
Chael Questions Islam’s Confidence
Sonnen says that the art of picking a fight, especially a title opportunity, is an art form. He also tells us that he is a professor in that art form, and every so often, someone stumbles across brilliance. He claims that Khabib getting Islam this opportunity is an example of it. However, he divulges how he tells the flukes from the fulfillment of a great plan.
“If you don’t change after the bout agreement, then you’re not [smart]. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. Sometimes somebody will do something really brilliant but they won’t understand what it is that they did. And as a professor, I can sit back and I can watch and I can tell who’s different, because if you’re still saying the same thing when you’re in ‘promote fight mode’ as you did when you were in ‘pick fight mode’, and you can’t see the clear separation being the bout agreement, I now know that you’re a blind squirrel who found a nut.”
However, Chael also ponders why it would continue on. He deduces that there are only two options for Khabib’s unchanging rhetoric.
“We have two [meanings]. Does he really want to diminish the victory of Islam, does he not want Islam on the shoulders and to truly take the throne? Is he trying to diminish it, because if the guy’s terrible who you’re beating, you don’t get credit for beating him? Or, does he have a student who, in private, in his most private of moments, has shown to you a reluctance, or even verbalized a lack of confidence in his ability to go to the ground?”
What do you think? Do you agree with Chael, or do you see a third possibility?
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