“The Bad Guy” has walked away from mixed martial arts competition, but Dana White believes Chael Sonnen was anything but bad.
Sonnen went one-on-one with Lyoto Machida in the co-main event of Bellator 222. Throughout fight week, Sonnen made it clear that he was gunning for Ryan Bader’s light heavyweight gold with a win over Machida. After suffering a second-round TKO loss at the hands of “The Dragon,” Sonnen announced his retirement.
Dana White Looks Back At Chael Sonnen’s Career Fondly
White appeared on SiriusXM’s “MMA Tonight.” On the show, White discussed what made Sonnen stay relevant throughout the years (via The Mac Life):
“I like Chael a lot, I have a very good relationship with Chael. I like the fact that [the UFC] is the hardest place in the world to stay and make a living. It’s a very hard place. … You have to be one of the best in the world to stick around here. And when guys can’t stick around here anymore, and they go somewhere else and get paid and make money; I love it. Good for them.
“I don’t think Chael was necessarily a bad guy, I think Chael was very good — before Conor McGregor — Chael was the best guy out there to push buttons and not only piss off other fighters, but piss off fans and stuff like that. He was very calculated and very smart in the way he conducted himself in this business.”
Sonnen walks away from MMA competition with a record of 31-17-1. He’s shared the cage with a number of notable names and legends in the sport such as Fedor Emelianenko, Jon Jones, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Rashad Evans, Wanderlei Silva, Michael Bisping, and many more.