Chael Sonnen hugs a fan after inviting her on the Fox Theater stage on Friday. (Matt Dollinger/SI)
ATLANTA -- Chael Sonnen has never been one to shy away from contact or controversy.
Regarded as one of the top middleweight fighters in the UFC, Sonnen is better known as the pound-for-pound trash-talking champion in a sport riddled with challengers. Not only is Sonnen one of the UFC’s biggest personalities, but he’s also one of its most quotable – challenging topics much like he does opponents.
Promoting his new book, “The Voice of Reason: A VIP Pass to Enlightenment,” Sonnen graced the Fox Theater stage in Atlanta on Friday for a question-and-answer sessions with fans prior to the official UFC 145 weigh-ins.
Sonnen’s next scheduled fight is a rematch against Anderson Silva at UFC 147 in Brazil, but reports are circulating that Sonnen-Silva II will be moved to UFC 148 in Las Vegas due to a logistical conflict with a United Nations conference in Rio slated for the same time of the original event.
That might be a blessing for Sonnen, who saved his harshest words for Brazil and its many fighters, including Silva, on Friday. Rather than rehash everything that came out of Sonnen’s mouth (some of which this blog probably shouldn't repeat), here are the top 10 PG-13 quotes from Sonnen’s memorable appearance in Atlanta:
10) “The tooth brush was actually created in Brazil. If it’d been created anywhere inAmericaor somewhere else it’d be called the teeth brush.”
9) “I’m not a martial artist, I’m an award-winning author. I don’t even know what the word ‘martial’ means. I’m not 100 percent I could spell it and I don’t think I could define it.”
8) “I’ll never be a closet champion. Come one, come all.”
7) “I haven’t even agreed to (fight Silva). My demand has not been met. Anderson has his list, I have but one request. There will be 80,000 people in attendance and my demand is simple: silence. When I come through the curtain, they will sit down and shut their mouths and show respect to their American guest. Or I will go back in my car, back to the airport, back toAmericaand (they) won’t even see me fight.”
6) “I don’t think you can give yourself a ring name. When I was young they used to call me ‘foreman,’ not because I was in charge, but because I did the work of four men.”
5) “I couldn’t do Joe Rogan’s job in a Jon Jones fight because I don’t even know what half of those moves are called.”
4) “I will stomp this man for 25 minutes or until he gives up.”
3) “My ideal fight would be against the smallest guy with the most atrocious record in the largest venue for the most insane paycheck. I love easy fights.”
2) “Anderson, Anderson, Princess Silva. I’ll fight you with my eyes closed and I’ll still kill ya.”
1) “I’m going to be hosting Anderson Silva’s retirement party on June 23rd. If you want the guys autograph you better get it soon, because on June 24th that guy is yesterday’s news.”
-- Matt Dollinger