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Chael Sonnen: Boxing is a ‘phony sport’

Chael Sonnen may be a big talker who runs his mouth for attention, but he also cuts through the b.s. sometimes and gets straight to the truth.

During an interview with the LA Times, Sonnen was asked how he can have so many losses and still be a title contender. His answer outlined a stark contrast between boxing and MMA.

“If I was a bully or a coward, I could’ve been undefeated,” Sonnen explained. “I fought the No. 1 guy in the world six times. I’ve fought 14 guys in the top 10, and beat 12 of them. If you want to take an easy path, you can. They do that in boxing, which is a phony sport, because they keep the best guys away from each other. I’m not a bully who picks on people I know I can beat, like Anderson [Silva] has done.”

Sonnen is 27-11-1, which would be pretty bad if he were in boxing. In MMA, he’s a title contender and one of the best middleweights. Part of the reason is because he’s improved over time. From 2003-2004, he lost six fights, but he’s gone 15-5 since.

But he also hit on the big difference between boxing and fighting in the UFC.

In boxing, promoters set fighters up against weak competition to build their record. A fighter who’s lost more than twice in his first 25 bouts isn’t worth much. And then you get guys like Floyd Mayweather who maintain a perfect record and then avoid the best competition in order to preserve it. Boxing records really are phony in that regard.

In the UFC, Dana White is the matchmaker and constantly pits the best fighters against each other. He operates it as a challenge ladder system where fighters most closely ranked face each other, and the loser moves up in rankings. Once you’re at the top, you’re constantly facing a round robin of the best competition. It’s like tennis tournaments where only Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and David Ferrer and some of the other top players face each other each week without facing the inferior competiont. Of course those guys would be losing more frequently because they’d only be playing the best players.

The only way to make it through that type of gauntlet undefeated is to be an absolute master like Anderson Silva, or to be overmatched against your competition like Jon Jones (who needs to move up to heavyweight).



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  • French-Canadian Boxing Fan

    This is GARBAGE and you know it!

    UFC/MMA fans like to pretend that boxers “don’t face the best opponents” but that’s total BS!
    Just because Mayweather and Pacquiao aren’t fighting each other doesn’t mean they don’t face top ranked opposition.

    Floyd has fought Cotto, Ortiz, Marquez, Hatton, De La Hoya etc..  these guys are NOT TOMATO CANS!

    Same for Manny:  Marquez, Cotto, Margarito, Bradley, Morales etc…

    People need to lay off the cult of UFC/Dana “Kim Jong Il” White.

    “UFC Jihadists” are at it again! 

    And THEY ARE JIHADISTS, just look at how much hate (and how FANATICAL AND CRAZY they are about defending the UFC) they have for the great sport of Boxing and even Non-UFC MMA promotions.

    It’s time for a reality check for those UFC Jihadists:

    In Boxing, you start off slow against lesser opponents, but at some point in order to make REAL MONEY (way more than UFC guys, by the way) you have to step up your game and face real competition.  This is what separates simple prospects from elite world-class level Boxers. 

    When you are at the top in Boxing, most guys gunning for you are good up-and-coming fighters and you need to keep up  An elite Boxer can’t spend a career defending his titles against tomato cans, he will face GREAT OPPOSITION.

    Yes, some elite champion Boxers will get an easy title defense once in a while but for the most part they face great opposition.

    Most guys won’t make it to the elite level, just like most guys won’t become Billionaire business men or make the NBA or NFL etc..

    In the UFC, apart from a very small minority of top guys like Jones, Silva , Saint-Pierre, Condit, nearly every guy can beat any other guy.

    UFC fighters are more or less interchangeable.  MMA is just polished bar brawling.
    These brawls tend to be short and meaningless and full of victories that look like FLUKES.

    When a guy wins in the UFC, you often get the sense that if the same fight was held again a week later, the result would be totally different.  That’ why UFC guys will NEVER be paid like elite pro Boxers.

    LUCK plays a big part in MMA, it also does in Boxing but not to the same extent.

    The UFC is also a CULT with a dictator in Dana White who controls everything and make SLAVES out of fighters.   A VERY SAD world, much sadder to see than bad judges decisions in Boxing.

    If there’s a phony sport out there, it’s the UFC not Boxing.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZGHZX4DLCHH7LYJINCAMS4WUJM Locnott

    Boxing is in a very sad state, and not all of floyds fights were against #1 contenders, or even top 10, 15 or 20, he has fought good competition in his last half dozen fights but not before.