Chael Sonnen Wants Credit For Breaking News of Francis Ngannou’s Signing with PFL: ‘I Did It Two Weeks Ago’

Chael Sonnen questions why the PFL neglected to mention him in their press release announcing that they had signed Francis Ngannou

Chael Sonnen
Courtesy of @MMAJunkie and @PFLMMA on Twitter

Chael Sonnen is upset that he wasn’t credited for breaking the news regarding Francis Ngannou’s PFL signing weeks before the promotion announced it. 

On Tuesday, the Professional Fighters League revealed that they had signed ‘The Predator’ to a groundbreaking contract that would not only make him a truckload of money but would also enlist him as the chairman of the newly launched expansion, PFL Africa. That afternoon, Ngannou appeared on a special Tuesday edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to detail the new contract and a timeline for his return.

With the news dominating headlines, Chael Sonnen is wondering he hasn’t received any credit for revealing Ngannou’s contract and potential return date in a prior episode of his Beyond the Fight series on YouTube. In another recent video clip, the three-time UFC title challenger questions why the PFL didn’t cite him when making their announcement considering they broke the same news that he announced weeks prior. 

“PFL just took credit for Chael’s story. I don’t know. How’s that work? The PFL put out an official statement. Francis Ngannou signs with the PFL. Won’t be participating in the tournament. Gonna be doing something else. Now, I did that same story except I didn’t call it an exclusive pay-per-view. I called it superfights and I did it two weeks ago,” Sonnen said.

“So when they come out, how come they don’t have to credit me? You’re probably thinking because it’s their story. I imagine you think, ‘Well because we are the PFL and it’s our story.” Is it? Is it your story? I’m the one that told it and I told it first. I’m just saying not for nothing, I felt like the press release should have said, ‘As stated by Chael Sonnen two weeks ago, Francis Ngannou is not only under contract with us while simultaneously having a carve-out for boxing.’

“Exactly what I said. Will not be fighting MMA until at the earliest 2024. Word for word what I said. Hoping to do a boxing match later this year. Again, right out of the lips of Chael P. and there wasn’t a credit to Chael P. I’m just wondering why and I think I have the answer. I think the answer is because it’s their story. It doesn’t exist without them. They knew it or at least had reason to believe they knew it prior to me. I don’t think that’s how it works. I think it’s whoever says it first. Particularly when it turns out to be correct and accurate.”

While Sonnen certainly has a point, promotions do not typically credit individuals in the media for leaking their big announcements in advance. Perhaps the biggest example of that is when renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani was banned from UFC events after breaking the news that former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar would be returning for UFC 200 hours before the promotion had an opportunity to reveal it themself.

The ban has since been lifted, but Helwani’s relationship with the UFC, Dana White in particular, has remained strained.

Still, Chael Sonnen believes he deserves credit for being the first to make the announcement, even if it was merely a well-educated guess. 

“There’s been a lot of praise and a lot of butter going around, but I haven’t really seen it spread in the direction of the guy who broke the story two weeks earlier and I think that’s weird,” Sonnen continued. “I think there probably is a journalistic answer to that. It has something to do with where this germinated from because it came from them and within their labs. I just don’t know a lot of other things in life that work that way.”

Published on May 18, 2023 at 2:53 pm
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