Both Chael Sonnen and Georges St-Pierre are happily retired.
Although fans never got to see them fight inside a mixed martial arts (MMA) cage, the two grappling specialists did, in fact, test themselves against one another several years ago. Speaking to Bloody Elbow, Sonnen detailed a 2014 “basement” fight he had with the Canadian legend, which was set up by Kenny Florian.
Sonnen, who has shared the cage with legends such as Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, and Fedor Emelianenko, claims St-Pierre was tougher than them all.
“I’ve fought Georges St-Pierre in a basement, in California, 2014,” Sonnen said. “That was the best fighter I’ve ever taken on. It’s a long story, but Kenny Florian set up the workout. And he said, ‘Hey, Georges is in town, do you want to work out tonight?’.
“And I said ‘Yes.’ But, I didn’t know he meant GSP—everybody calls GSP, GSP. Kenny sent me a text that said ‘Georges is in town.’ I showed up at the basement and there is St-Pierre. And I do remember leaving that day and thinking, ‘You know, that guy is special. That guy is different than other people.’
“And he had that strength, like that remarkable strength. And I never heard his opponents talk about that. I never heard his opponents talk about how strong he was, which surprised me, because it was… remarkable. Very strong man.”
Sonnen retired after a TKO loss to Lyoto Machida in June. “The Bad Guy” announced to the crowd after the loss that he had finished up his Bellator deal, and had decided to hang up his gloves for good after the defeat.
As for St-Pierre, he remains retired as well, but has admitted he’d be willing to end that retirement with a shot at UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
What do you think about Sonnen and St-Pierre’s 2014 “basement” fight?