Urijah Faber: 'I Think The Sport Needs Guys Like Chael Sonnen'

TUALATIN, OR - JUNE 26: Chael Sonnen rests after a workout at the Team Quest gym on June 26, 2012 in Tualatin, Oregon. Sonnen will fight Anderson Silva July 7, 2012 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

At a recent Q&A session, UFC 149 main-eventer and former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber was asked about the controversial Chael Sonnen Sonnen, who will get his second crack at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 148, is well-known for his booming personality and controversial statements. Faber is quite the opposite, but he still thinks Sonnen is good for the sport (via MMA Weekly):

"I think this sport needs guys like Chael Sonnen."

...

"The guy was coming over from the WEC as world champion and then came over and got put on the undercard for the UFC. I think he chose to make a switch and said I need to stand out in this sport and just being the nice, intelligent guy that I am is not enough," explained Faber.

"He probably won’t admit to that, but the guy made a switch and decided, hey, I’m gonna stand out in this sport. I’m gonna create my own opportunities and he does it in an interesting way that people either really hate or really love."

Faber's not exactly correct there. Sonnen came back into the promotion at UFC 95 on the main card, where he was swiftly submitted by Demian Maia. Even after that, his bout with Dan Miller at UFC 98 was on the main card as well. Sonnen was also just as vocal when he was deriding Paulo Filho before their bouts in the WEC, it's just that no one was watching.

Either way though, it's an interesting debate - does Chael Sonnen's huge personality help or hinder the sport in general? Or does it even matter in the long run?

SBN coverage of UFC 148


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