Chael Sonnen Justifies Conor McGregor Throwing First Punch At UFC 229 Brawl

Chael Sonnen explains Weigh-In
Image Credit: Bellator MMA

Everyone is talking about the post-fight brawl that occurred at UFC 229 last weekend (Sat. October 6, 2018). It all started with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win over Conor McGregor. “The Eagle” submitted the Irishman in the fourth round via neck crank. After that, Khabib hopped the Octagon to attack McGregor cornerman Dillon Danis, who had been antagonizing the champion at cageside.

Soon after, a few Team Khabib members jumped in the Octagon and attacked McGregor. Initially, it was believed McGregor had a minimal role in the antics. However, new footage suggests he threw the first punch at Khabib teammates once they got in the cage. Bellator heavyweight Chael Sonnen was asked for his thoughts on the matter. Sonnen actually defended McGregor throwing the first punch.

“The Bad Guy” isn’t a believer in the ‘don’t throw the first punch’ rule that determines innocence. According to Sonne, once your enemy is within arms’ length of you, all bets are off (via Bloody Elbow):

“First up, they can shove it up their ass,” Sonnen said. “That whole thing was created by some wimp somewhere about the other guy has to throw the first punch. If you’re engaging me aggressively, and I let you within an arm’s reach, I’m a sucker if I allow you to throw the first punch.

“The first thing you do – and remember this, if your dads weren’t smart enough to tell you. If you learned how to fight from your moms, or from your wimpy teachers in your liberal school district, you don’t let somebody get within an arm’s reach of you when they got that look in their eye. You keep them back, and if they break the distance, you always hit them first.”

Sonnen Defends McGregor

With that being said, Sonnen believes McGregor handled things as best he could’ve:

“Conor McGregor, who I’m not a defender of, was where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to do,” he said. “He was a licensed fighter following the unified rule which says in front of everything else, you protect yourself at all times.

“He gets up on that cage and is confronted by somebody who is not licensed to be there and is not supposed to be there. He’s not doing what he’s supposed to do and a melee has broken out. Conor McGregor had every reasonable right to throw at him, and that did not start the fight.

“Khabib had flown over the Octagon and thrown a jumping kick at into Dillon Danis. So, first off, your facts are wrong that Conor threw the first punch. It’s factually incorrect. Secondly, the unified rules state: ‘You protect yourself at all times.’

“Conor was where he was supposed to be, in an Octagon, protecting himself against somebody who had come in to do him harm. That’s the reality, and if you ask me if I’m getting hate on social media, then I hate you right back. And you can shove it up your ass, because that is what happened.

What do you think about Sonnen’s comments regarding McGregor at UFC 229?