Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida are set to fight this Friday at Madison Square Garden in the co-main event of Bellator 222. There, the winner is expected to get the next title shot against Ryan Bader. However, if “The American Gangster” wins, he isn’t sure if that will be the fight. And, there is a simple reason why. He doesn’t want to give Bader a money fight like himself when he doesn’t deserve it.
“This is said to be the No. 1 contender’s fight, but it puts me in a really weird spot,” Sonnen said to MMA Junkie. “Generally you would be chasing the champion. That is the general rule of the business; that is the general rule in life. Ryan Bader sucks. Ryan Bader can’t draw. People don’t know who Ryan Bader is. Ryan Bader, as a champion, has to beg me to come in and fight.
“The roles are totally reversed. He’s got to beg me to be the No. 1 contender. I don’t like Ryan Bader. I’ve got a history with Ryan Bader. I want to be champion. I don’t know if I want to do Ryan Bader that favor.”
According to Sonnen, there is a very good reason why he says that. He says the champ-champ can’t sell a fight and he isn’t nice to him or mean to him which bothers him.
“I’ve given him the opportunity to win me over,” Sonnen said. “I’ve never felt he called me out the right way, he never affected my ego, and I never felt he shined up my wheels enough to make me come and do something for him. I think he’s playing his cards wrong. I think he needs to be a little nicer to old Chael, quite frankly. Or he needs to be a little bit meaner to old Chael.
“But he seems to be sitting on the middle of the road, which is why in his meager little career a fight with me would be five times anything he’s done before. So, until I like Ryan Bader a little bit more, which I don’t see happening, I’m not giving him the opportunity to fight me, even though he’s champion.”