Chael Sonnen: I was offered $2M to box Mike Tyson in Abu Dhabi

The buzz surrounding Jake Paul’s face-off with Mike Tyson still echoes. But buried beneath this, a revelation from UFC legend Chael Sonnen emerges.

In a recent podcast with Patrick Bet-David, Sonnen talked about a multimillion-dollar offer to step into the ring with Tyson in Abu Dhabi in 2021.

Sonnen dropped the surprise, revealing that he was presented with a staggering two million dollars to engage in a boxing bout with the iconic Mike Tyson. The negotiations progressed to the point where both parties signed a Letter of Intent (LOI). But a twist of fate intervened, preventing the showdown from materializing.

Sonnen said: “I got offered a fight with Mike (Tyson) in Abu Dhabi. They were going to pay me two million dollars which is a ton. They were going to pay him 12 million dollars. We had an LOI and everything’s going behind the scenes. It was his wife (who) pulled it, ‘Nope, he’s never going to fight again.’ It was right after the Roy Jones fight.”

Despite advancing into his fifties, Mike Tyson showcased an impressive performance in his comeback against Roy Jones Jr. The prospect of a second match this time was against Chael Sonnen was on the table. However, Tyson’s deep connection with his wife led to a choice – a permanent retirement from boxing.

One of the UFC’s most dominating wrestlers was Chael Sonnen. It was admirable of Sonnen to take a boxing match with Mike Tyson. Naturally, the financial advantages played a role in his choice. But the match was never finalized. After his last Bellator match against Lyoto Machida, Sonnen announced his permanent retirement from the sport.

The unexpected announcement of Mike Tyson taking on Jake Paul raised eyebrows across the combat sports world. Chael Sonnen shared his insights, aligning himself with Paul in this unique matchup. Drawing parallels, he referenced the recent boxing clash between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort to support his stance.

In only the first two minutes of the boxing match, MMA contender Vitor Belfort defeated seasoned boxer Evander Holyfield.

Sonnen stated: “Vitor Belfort, who has never boxed, put him (Evander Holyfield) away so fast. So, this (Holyfield) is an Olympic gold medalist you’re watching. Vitor, who has never done it, put him away so fast…They labeled him like an elderly abuser. ‘How dare you? How could you do this?’… He (Jake Paul) will get teased for taking this [Tyson] fight.”

Mike Tyson’s last boxing appearance in 2020 against Roy Jones Jr. It was an exhibition-style format with no official scoring. In contrast, Jake Paul’s recent win over Ryan Bourland showcased his skills with a first-round knockout. Despite the unconventional nature of the bout, the Tyson vs. Paul clash is set for July 20, promising a spectacle that will be streamed live on Netflix.