Ask people about Chael Sonnen's mic work, and you're bound to receive a list of polarizing adjectives in return: funny, racist, xenophobic, mean, unprofessional, over-the-top, entertaining, rude, rambling, and so on. I prefer irreverent. I like irreverent. I also like absurd, and it's amusing to me that people take Sonnen's words to heart considering how weird and absurd and audacious he tends to be.
Brazil's Terra Esportes spoke with Lyoto Machida and Jose Aldo about Sonnen's proclivity for promo (translation by Tom Mendes):
"Everyone has their own way of hyping a fight," says Machida. "My way is inside the Octagon. It's my fight. The media gives a lot of opportunity in the virtue of MMA growth in the world and he takes advantage of that, he knows how to market and sell himself well."
While Aldo agrees with Machida, he takes Sonnen's actions as disrespectful:
"This is very annoying, because we see him in the events and he ends up marketing himself on top of others. Afterwards, if you want to know, he always apologizes, I have witnessed that. Sonnen ends up disrespecting (us)."
When reached for comment, Sonnen provided this response to Bloody Elbow:
"Any fighter I've granted a private audience with has been to allow them to kiss my ring, like I'm the POPE. If Hose A wants a private meeting next week in Rio, I'll grant him one. BUT...it may not be my ring he'll have to kiss...
"News flash, Lyoto: the spotlight is part and parcel for the gig. Go join a monastery if you want to pretend that fighting is about honor or integrity. And who are you to talk about being a big man? I don't see you changing diapers on flipper babies in Chernoybl."
It's T-10 days until Sonnen enters the HSBC Arena to corner Yushin Okami's in the latter's attempt to defeat Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title. One wonders if he'll escape the arena unscathed.