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Chael Sonnen Warns Bellator to “Keep us Real Athletes Away From The Heavyweights”

Fedor and Sonnen

According to Chael Sonnen, if Bellator’s interested in preserving the integrity of the promotion’s heavyweight division, the company would be wise to keep him, and others like Ryan Bader, far, far away…

As you likely know, Sonnen is preparing to face the legend, Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 208 Saturday, in what is a semifinal of the heavyweight grand-prix. In the tourney’s other semifinal, which will go down tonight at Bellator 207, the light-heavyweight champ Bader will take on Matt Mitrione.

Well, recently the latter opined that if either Sonnen or Bader go on to win the grand-prix, Bellator’s heavyweight division will lose all of it’s credibility. The argument being that since both Sonnen and Bader moved up a weight class to compete in the tourney, it wouldn’t look good for the promotion’s heavyweights, if they win it.

More recently, Sonnen was asked for his take on Mitrione’s comments, and “The American Gangster” had this to say (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“I think it discredits all the heavyweights completely,” Sonnen said. “The best thing to do with heavyweights is to keep them the hell from any other weight class. They’re the worst athletes in the room. They’re the slowest guys in the room. They’re the laziest guys in the room – which is why they weigh so goddamn much.

“If you want to keep the mystique going on to the public that size matters and that the big guys are better, just because they’re bigger, if you want to keep that false narrative out there, keep us real athletes away from the heavyweights. I think (the grand prix) was a risky move. They tried it on the other side of the tracks, and a light heavyweight now has that strap, too. Heavyweights suck, Mitrione is right.”

Now, obviously this is Sonnen’s way of stirring the pot a wee bit, as Mitrione wasn’t relaying that “heavyweights suck”. Are heavyweights slower than smaller fighters? Generally speaking yes. And are they the “worst athletes”? Compared to the average athletic ability of other weight divisions, probably; but, heavyweights can also typically end a bout with just one shot.

It’s also interesting to see Sonnen referring to Daniel Cormier’s championship win over Stipe Miocic this past summer, in terms of a light-heavyweight moving up to heavyweight and having success.

If you’re wondering, the betting lines have Bader as a sizeable favorite to defeat Mitrione tonight, while Sonnen is the underdog, heading into his bout tomorrow with Fedor.

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