Chael Sonnen Not a Fan of Grant Dawson’s Offer to Fight Paddy Pimblett in London: ‘It Makes You Look Weak’

Chael Sonnen believes Grant Dawson's offer to fight Paddy Pimblett in his home country is a mistake that will likely get him nowhere

Chael Sonnen
Courtesy of Chael Sonnen on YouTube / @MMAJunkie on Twitter

Chael Sonnen says Grant Dawson’s willingness to face Paddy Pimblett in London will only serve to exclude him from the list of potential opponents for the fast-rising Liverpudlian.

In an exclusive interview with Millions.co, Dawson revealed that he was actively asking for a fight with Pimblett when the promotion returns to London in March. “I will go to his home turf to fight him, and to prove that Scousers get knocked out,” said Dawson. Sonnen shared his thoughts on Dawson’s approach in a recent video clip uploaded to his YouTube channel.

“I got to talk to you about the negotiation tactic. When there’s something that you want… And so you’re willing to give to it. There was just a fighter at 125 pounds and I can’t recall who it was, but if he could get a certain fight, he would give the person $10,000 for fighting. I like that because I get it. I get that hunger for opportunity. You don’t know how else to say it. You’re trying to show how bad you want it. You’re also showing your confidence.”

While this is a tactic Chael Sonnen has used in his own MMA career, it has never once worked for him, and he believes trying it makes you look weak in the eyes of your desired opponent and more importantly, the matchmakers. 

“As soon as he said, ‘I’m willing to go to London, I’ll do it in London’ thinking that was going to sweeten the pot. ‘Oh, we just gotta get somebody to come to London.’ Paddy just did a fight and it wasn’t in London. As soon as you start offering things like that, it makes you look weak. 

“I’ve done it that way many times and I’ll just tell Mr. Dawson and the rest of you it doesn’t work. For whatever reason, it doesn’t work. As soon as you look like you really want something and you’re willing to concede, you’re willing to start giving things up before they’re even asked.”

Chael Sonnen Sees No Benefit in Paddy Pimblett Stepping Up His Competition

Since debuting under the UFC banner in 2021, Paddy Pimblett has taken the combat sports world by storm. With four straight wins in 15 months’ time, ‘The Baddy’ has emerged as one of the biggest stars inside the Octagon despite fighting a bevy of unranked opponents who are likely unfamiliar to the casual MMA fan. With Pimblett’s ability to draw a crowd no matter who he faces inside the cage, Chael Sonnen sees no reason for ‘The Baddy’ to take on tougher opponents.

“Paddy’s not quite in the situation. I will predict for you guys, he’s not in the same situation that you think. Paddy has been fighting lesser-known guys that we believe are going to have lesser skill and it’s a very unique situation to Paddy where he can fill up an arena to do just that. 

‘There’s been stars over time. Mike Tyson. Oscar De La Hoya. I think that list needs amended. Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather need to be put on that list, but there have been stars over time who regardless of who the opponent was, can draw. Nobody walked in on day one and could do that, except for Paddy. I’ve never seen anything like it. So there’s no reason Paddy would be taking on these harder opponents. There’s no reason to. He’s bringing in the same amount of attention. He’s going to get the exposure regardless of the opponents.”

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