Former UFC title contender and current Bellator MMA fighter Chael Sonnen apparently had an issue with Ronda Rousey’s recent appearance on ESPN’s Golic & Wingo Show.
As noted, the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion appeared on the sports program last week to promote WrestleMania 34. She also appeared on ESPN’s First Take with Max Kellerman, Molly Querim and Stephen A. Smith, and that interview also made headlines.
Both shows chose to ask Rousey about her sports career, the thing that brought her to the attention of the mainstream public and led to her acting career and eventual transition to WWE.
As “The American Gangster” explained in a recent video released on his official YouTube channel (see above), that he had a problem with Rousey taking issue with questions about her past MMA career, particularly because they were both sports shows interviewing an athlete to promote an entertainment event.
“Let’s paraphrase; the host [Mike Golic] asked if you were going to fight again, and she said that she never said that she was. He said, would you go back in time, meaning, in time forward could you go back. His words were, would you go back in time, which is how she chose to troll him and say, no, I could not go back in time. I didn’t think it was that hot of a piece,” said Chael P. “I didn’t find it good, bad or indifferent. I did find it a little annoying, like, hey, the host is doing you a favor by having you on, considering you’re jumping around in the fake ring wearing Roddy Piper’s clothes. This is a sports show and you don’t do sports, so, give the guy a little slack. It’s like, hey lady, you’re jumping around in a ring on pay per view in a few days. This is a sports show. We’ll extend this to you because you used to do a sport, so let’s help each other out here. So yeah, she then threw it in his face.”
Sonnen went on to elaborate, explaining that he understands it can be annoying to deal with reporters asking the same questions over and over again, but that’s part of the game. Additionally, he spoke again about the fact that Rousey took issue with a sports question being asked during an appearance on a sports talk show.
“I didn’t blame her in the least,” said Sonnen. “I thought it was funny because anytime you live in a bubble, and yes she lives in a bubble, she has the right, she is a human being and she is going to get tired of being asked the same question over and over again about being retired. That very clearly annoys her, but if we are going to ever have Ronda Rousey on this show that is the question we are going to ask her because we clearly can’t talk about the past. First off, that’s not interesting, plus, what else am I going to talk to her about? 1995 when she was skilled at this sport or 2001—I can’t remember the year, it’s been a long time. Am I going to talk to her about when she was the Champion or when she got her a** kicked and she wasn’t the Champion?”
Sonnen continued, “So, I’m going to have to talk to her about the future so the host did the absolute right thing, but there is a gamesmanship that is going on over there. Which is, who is going to get over who? One of us is going to look like a doofus. So, here’s the battle: Am I good enough ratings for you that you are going to tolerate me making you look stupid on your own show like I did to Dan Le Batard where he has to have me on, right? But, he’s going to take the weight for it. Or, is my show bigger than you, you don’t belong here in the first place because we are a sports show and you are jumping around in Roddy Piper’s pajamas on a Sunday in a few weeks. Who gets over on who? I will let you decide the answer to that.”
Finally, Sonnen, who will return to the MMA cage himself in the semifinals of the Bellator MMA Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament against the winner of the upcoming Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir fight, outright said he would have kicked Rousey off of the show if he were Golic.
“If I was the host I would have kicked her a** off the set,” said Sonnen.. “I am inviting you on here on a sports show on ESPN, a place that you don’t belong as a Professional Wrestler, but we can all scratch since each other’s back. There is a lot of people that do care and find it interesting, but I have to talk about an actual sport, after all, I am a sports show, and I’m on ESPN. The ‘S’ in ESPN, you know what that stands for. I have to talk sports with you. You’re not active. Bringing up history is no fun, so I have to talk about the future. Fair question by me, but you’re going to try and belittle me for it?”
Sonnen added, “Let me show you how this goes. Because, after I boot your a** and my ratings go up for doing it. Tomorrow morning, they’re going to set this same camera up because I’m still going to be on it, but you’re not Ronda, so now we are going to find out who is going to go up on who. I’m not burning Ronda Rousey, you can put anybody there you want, but I’m just saying that if you are the host, and it is your show, run your show. Now, if you want to be a willful doofus to know that this is good for ratings and let’s just keep this guy around even if I have to take some bumps here, it is good. I have been on that end of it too, where it’s like, yeah, I see where this is going, but let me let this go and I’ll get some more length out of it. We are playing a game. That is okay to do as well, but that would be one way to handle it, and that would be how I would have handled it, but if I was the host I would have said, here is your hat, what is your hurry?”
(H/T to @DoricSam and WrestlingInc.com for transcribing the above Chael Sonnen quotes.)
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