Chael Sonnen might be sidelined from his ESPN gig due to an Ambien fueled assault on a number of individuals including women, but he’s still quite capable of controling the narrative.
Previously Sonnen tried to claim that now that Ngannou has stopped negotiating with the UFC, Tyson Fury wouldn’t even be interested in him. A claim that Fury himself disputed right away.
Now he’s back with another diss. And this time he got creative.
UFC star Chael Sonnen recently made headlines by pointing fingers at Francis Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion, for the low number of pay-per-view (PPV) buys in UFC 270. The event, which took place on January 22, 2022, at the Honda Center in California, marked Ngannou’s first title defense against Ciryl Gane.
According to Sonnen, the event only sold approximately 300,000 PPV buys, which he deemed a significant flop. He further blamed both Ngannou and Gane for not creating a story to promote their bout and sell more tickets.
Since the PPV numbers aren’t public, it’s likely either UFC let it slip or Sonnen fabricated the talking point.
The event saw Ngannou successfully defend his belt via a unanimous decision, with Deiveison Figueiredo also earning a decision win over Brendan Moreno in the co-main event.
Sonnen believes that the lack of promotion and marketing is what led to low sales.
Ngannou has since left the UFC, citing better opportunities in the boxing ring. He has expressed interest in a hybrid match between MMA and boxing against former heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury.
Sonnen once again cast doubt on the move, questioning if it will generate any more PPV sales for Ngannou, as he believes that Ngannou made a mistake by turning down a sizeable deal with the UFC.
Ngannou is in negotiations to secure a $30 million purse for a boxing outing.
UFC 274: Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje emerged as the best-selling UFC event of 2022, with only around 400,000 PPV buys. This event’s success could be attributed to the promotion and storytelling that went into it, which resulted in a higher number of PPV sales.
You might notice that this is a far cry from McGregor/Nurmagomedov numbers.
“And Francis wanted to turn the gun on the company. And act like ‘I’m going to walk away and fight Tyson Fury’. What differences does it make if you do? Nobody is tuning in to watch you fight. Of course he [Dana White] let the guy walk away.” Sonnen said during an appearance on Flagrant2.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.