Chael Sonnen doesn’t consider himself a UFC Hall of Famer despite being inducted in 2024

Chael Sonnen doesn’t think he’s a true UFC Hall of Famer.

At UFC 300, Sonnen got a pleasant surprise when during the main card broadcast, the promotion announced that his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 117 would be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer in the Fight Wing . But as touched as he was by the moment, “The American Gangster” doesn’t believe he’s a true Hall of Famer. At least not yet.

“Would I consider myself (a Hall of Famer)? No, I wouldn’t,” Sonnen said Wednesday. MMA time. “Either you are or you’re not. But no, I don’t think so. I think you have to go. I don’t think a fight can happen (for you). I don’t think that makes me a Hall of Famer, I think that makes a Hall of Fame fight. This has always been my interpretation. The guys that come in separately, I feel like they’re in a different class.

Silva is already in the Hall – inducted into the Pioneer Wing in 2023 – and whether he considers himself one or not, Sonnen now joins his old rival for their epic battle, which earned Fight of the Year honors in 2010.

As is usual for these types of announcements, the UFC made sure Sonnen was present at the event, working as an analyst and personality. Sonnen says the revelation came as a complete shock to him.

“I never knew,” Sonnen said, recounting the scene. “Looking back, it’s all so obvious. I was there when they brought Wanderlei (Silva) in (for his Hall of Fame announcement). They put him in the same chair, they brought him up at the same time in the series. But no, I didn’t know.

“What I was told, even the day before, was: ‘We’re going to come get you and after the second fight, just before the BMF, you and Megan (Olivi) are going to go do a live on the importance of the BMF…And then, of course, Megan came along – and Megan even had a script And she said, “Hey, is there anything you don’t want me to ask you? she took notes while I answered her.

“But the thing was, when we got down to the seat, the seat said ‘Chael’ on it. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, for this little moment on the show, their producers are so good they even marked a chair for me with my name on it.” That should have been the message, but I didn’t know and I’m really happy.

Overall, it was a wonderful moment for Sonnen, who was arguably the sport’s biggest star at the peak of his career. After the video package aired, Sonnen seemed a little emotional about what had just happened, but ever in character, “The Bad Guy” put that down to shock and awe.

“Not to my knowledge,” Sonnen replied when asked if he became emotional. “I couldn’t hear!” When you’re this close, you don’t hear the acoustics. Apparently Jon Anik made the announcement – and I heard Anik say something about August 2010 and the time in California, and I remember thinking, “I know where I was in August ( 2010), I know the time I was in Oakland. I remember thinking that, but I never heard them say, “You’re in.” So they were playing the montage and I stood up and whispered to Megan, “What’s happening right now?” She said, “You’re in the Hall of Fame!” ” My God! It was a wonderful moment. You don’t get surprised often in life, especially as an adult… it was great. It was a very fun surprise.

Silva and Sonnen join UFC champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Frankie Edgar and former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva as 2024 Hall of Fame inductees, and will be inducted during the Hall of Fame ceremony in UFC 2024 on June 27 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.