Chael Sonnen has pointed response to those claiming McGregor threw the first punch
He'll deny it but Conor McGregor likely learned a lot from Chael Sonnen.
If McGregor is the greatest trash-talker in mixed martial arts history, Sonnen comes in at a close second and the pre-UFC 229 comments made by 'The Notorious' regarding Khabib Nurmagomedov bore a striking resemblance to Sonnen's remarks about Anderson Silva all those years ago.
Sonnen took aim at Silva's home country of Brazil, as well as his family, ahead of the middleweight rivals' rematch at UFC 148, just as McGregor did to Nurmagomedov prior to last weekend's grudge match in Las Vegas.
Sonnen, who now fights under the Bellator banner, claims that he wrote the blueprint that is now followed by the likes of McGregor and 'The American Gangster' also had some interesting things to say regarding the post-fight melee on Saturday night.
Discussing claims that McGregor threw the first punch which sparked the all-out brawl, a fired-up Sonnen began by insisting that there is nothing wrong with striking first before reminding fans that Nurmagomedov was already outside the Octagon scuffling with McGregor's team by the time the Irishman reached the top of the fence.
"First up, they can shove it up their ass," Sonnen told MMA Fighting. "That whole thing was created by some wimp somewhere about the other guy has to throw the first punch. If you’re engaging me aggressively, and I let you within an arm’s reach, I’m a sucker if I allow you to throw the first punch.
"The first thing you do – and remember this, if your dads weren’t smart enough to tell you or if you learned how to fight from your moms, or from your wimpy teachers in your liberal school district - you don’t let somebody get within an arm’s reach of you when they got that look in their eye. You keep them back, and if they break the distance, you always hit them first.
"Conor McGregor, who I’m not a defender of, was where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to do. He was a licensed fighter following the unified rule which says in front of everything else, you protect yourself at all times. He gets up on that cage and is confronted by somebody who is not licensed to be there and is not supposed to be there. He’s not doing what he’s supposed to do and a melee has broken out.
Really good angle of Khabib/McGregor UFC 229 post-fight stuff https://t.co/ac1XKP4MNT
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) October 7, 2018
"Conor McGregor had every reasonable right to throw a punch at him, and that did not start the fight. Khabib had flown over the Octagon and thrown a jumping kick at into Dillon Danis. So, first off, your facts are wrong that Conor threw the first punch. It’s factually incorrect.
"Secondly, the unified rules state: ‘You protect yourself at all times.’ Conor was where he was supposed to be, in an Octagon, protecting himself against somebody who had come in to do him harm.
"That’s the reality, and if you ask me if I’m getting hate on social media, then I hate you right back. And you can shove it up your ass, because that is what happened."