When you interview Chael Sonnen, you’re going to get one of three things - Chael in character, the actual Chael, or a mixture of work and shoot. In his most recent MMA Hour interview, Sonnen was mostly in character when it came to talking about Fedor Emelianenko. After all, he’s trying to build their fight in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals, and introspective Chael doesn’t sell as many fights as bombastic Chael.
But he did bring up some interesting points about the differences between a public face and the real person, stating that he thinks Fedor’s nice guy persona isn’t necessarily indicative of who he really is (via MMA Fighting):
“He seems like a perfectly nice guy, I don’t think I would want to take anything from him, but it’s a gimmick, right? All the guys are working a gimmick. He found his gimmick. He found a little something with the respect and the humbleness and looking like Dumpy Dwarf getting interviewed by his translator Snow White there.
“That’s good for some people. It doesn’t do a damn thing for me. I’m not impressed by it, I don’t fall for it. At the end of the day, behind that little frumpy look on his face and the little doughy bald head is a dirty, rotten cage fighter just like me.”
He then reiterated that Fedor’s fights outside North America don’t mean anything because they were “fixed”. An old claim, but he’s not about to give up on it:
“You bring up his Japan record, I don’t give a damn about that, either,” Sonnen said. “Those fights were fixed over there. Does that mean they all were or all of his, I don’t even know why we go down that road. If you’ve got a promoter that’s fixing fights, the whole thing is tarnished and his whole thing is tarnished. It only counts what he did in North America and if he can get over on me, it’ll be the staple in his hat. Because he’s never fought anybody like me before.”
Sonnen then went back to the gimmick talk to close it out:
“Man, you’re getting in a steel cage half naked looking to whip somebody’s ass,” Sonnen said. “You’re a scumbag and so am I. If you want to sell some t-shirts that way, have at it. You’ve got your style and I’ve got mine. But I’m not buying it and I don’t give a damn about it.”
The date and location for the Sonnen-Fedor matchup hasn’t been decided as of yet, but Bellator CEO Scott Coker has indicated that it will likely take place in the fall. That gives Chael plenty of time to keep talking it up.