Chael Sonnen knows a thing or two about trash talk and how to promote a fight, but he's taking issue with the way Conor McGregor and his coach can't seem to get on the same page in regards to UFC 200 and his future with the promotion.
McGregor has been at odds with the UFC for the past couple of weeks after he refused to travel to Las Vegas to promote his fight with Nate Diaz that was scheduled for July 9 at UFC 200.
The UFC opted to pull McGregor from the card entirely and since that time, the two parties have engaged in a back and forth war of words. McGregor has fired off a few warning shots over social media essentially relaying the message that he's set financially and if he wanted to walk away from fighting right now, he could.
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Sonnen's issue is with McGregor's head coach John Kavanagh, who recently took to Twitter as well as interviews to complain about his fighter no longer being a candidate to fight at UFC 205 in New York, while also asking fans to rally by his side.
"You can't have one thing being said by Conor and something else being said by someone else on his team," Sonnen said recently on his podcast. "I talk very respectfully when I talk about coaches. They're different. Fighters and coaches are different. I don't want this to be taken the wrong way, it's said with respect, but his coach cannot be putting anything out about him ever, period, ever because he doesn't get it. Respectfully, Coach Kavanagh, you don't get it.
"Every time you talk and think you're helping him, you're not. You're hurting the cause. You have to stop. Conor cannot put out a post saying money made, bill paid, game slayed, your move, which means I do not care what happens, I'm handled either way, it's your move. He can't say that and three days later have you come out and say 'hey fans, please petition to get him back, hey fans let's please get him on the New York card.' You can't do it."
Sonnen says the contradiction between fighter and coach just makes them look bad, especially when they are caught in a power struggle with the UFC over McGregor's promotion schedule and his next fight.
The former middleweight title contender believes it only stands to weaken their position in the long run and Kavanagh should probably keep his thoughts to himself -- or at least make sure he's on the same page with McGregor before saying things publicly.
A photo posted by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on
"It's never good for a trainer or a manager to do this. It's just not," Sonnen said. "Whether it comes from a good place or not, it's going to look like you're trying to get paid. If one guy's sitting there and the whole hand he's playing is 'I've got enough, I don't need to do it.' Won the titles, got the money, don't care, having a great life -- if he's playing that, that's a pretty good hand.
"But you can't show any cracks in it. When a coach comes out and he's taking to Twitter and he's asking us to get behind him. (Expletive) the fans are behind him. Some of them were planning a vacation around it. Your guy's the one that pulled out."
Sonnen sees the entire ordeal as a calculated mistake that weakened McGregor's position to get what he wanted.
As of now, McGregor is still sidelined with no fight at UFC 200, although UFC president Dana White has said that he'll likely book the Irishman for another card in the near future. But it appears the show in New York is off the table.
"You're talking about how are we getting black-listed for New York. Well wait a minute, I thought the game was slayed, the bills were paid and the money was made, I thought it was their move. Now you're begging to get on a card?" Sonnen vexed.
"You want to hustle some hustlers, you guys have got to be on the same page."