Chael Sonnen Says UFC Title Contender Has To Go ‘Full Heel’


Chael Sonnen wants to see Henry Cejudo unleash his inner heel.

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is set to defend his title against Henry Cejudo at the UFC 227 pay-per-view (PPV) in Los Angles on August 4th. It’ll be a rematch of the pair’s initial meeting back in 2016 where Cejudo was finished in the first round.

In a recent episode of “Beyond The Fight,” former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen explained how he’d like to see Cejudo bring out his inner heel to promote the fight (quotes via MMA Mania):

“He just wouldn’t come out of his shell,” Sonnen said. “He just simply wouldn’t do it. He just wanted to be the good and likeable guy, no matter how many times we try to grab him by the collar and say ‘Henry, that spot’s taken — the good guy is taken by Demetrious — but there’s another seat in the car.”

Sonnen believes that Cejudo’s recent campaign on Twitter was able to land him the fight:

“He came out of his shell this much [gestures] in a few Tweets on social media guess what? He got the fight.”

One thing Sonnen fears, however, is that Cejudo is already complacent with simply getting the fight. He’d like to see the former Olympian take some extra initiative to help promote the bout:

“I worry as a fan that that was his goal, and his only goal: to get the fight,” Sonnen said. “I worry as a fan that he’s not going to do his part to bring attention to this. That’s irresponsible of him. He will think it’s sportsmanlike of him, he will see it as sportsmanship. That’s also why he’s broke,” said Chael, who wrote the book on how to channel your inner-bad guy to promote a title fight.

“He just refuses to see what we’re doing here. This is a world title fight, which is a big deal. This is a rematch which historically speaking, is big business — and it’s the co-main, which is the industry’s way of saying ‘we know you can’t do your part.’ That’s not on Demetrious. A little bit of it is,” he said.

“Demetrious is involved in this too, but he’s the champion. He’s the one that gets to be himself. He’s the one that gets to be in that spot because he’s got 12 pounds of gold wrapped around his waist. He’s the guy who gets that opportunity, because he’s the number-one ranked fighter in the world. It’s incumbent on the challenger, and in this case, it’s Cejudo.”

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Has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) for the past several years. Also covers professional wrestling for WrestleZone and EWrestlingNews, and the Houston Texans for USA Today's Texans Wire.