Former UFC light heavyweight and middleweight contender Chael Sonnen recently gave his take on two of the UFC’s rising stars.
Sean O’Malley has risen through the bantamweight ranks this year. Most recently, “Sugar” defeated former UFC Bantamweight Champion Petr Yan via controversial split-decision at UFC 280.
Paddy Pimblett, meanwhile, has been fighting unranked fighters since joining the UFC lightweight division. He most recently picked up a highly controversial unanimous decision win over Jared Gordon at UFC 282.
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Chael Sonnen analyzed the two fighters and their knack for staying in the headlines. “The American Gangster” touched on Pimblett’s recent issues with MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. A key factor in the pair’s feud at the moment is “The Baddy” looking for paid interview opportunities.
Chael Sonnen agreed with Sean O’Malley’s take on the situation that a media opportunity should be treated differently to a more standard paid gig. Sonnen explained that as time goes on, if a fighter constantly shoots down media opportunities, someone else will take them instead.
When it comes to comparing O’Malley to Pimblett, Chael Sonnen noted that Pimblett never really calls anyone out. This is a rarity among more colorful personality-type fighters over the years.
“Paddy’s Not Calling Anybody Out” – Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen made mention of Pimblett’s podcast and efforts to engage with the public on a consistent basis compared to Sean O’Malley, who uses similar strategies to engage with fans but frequently calls out other fighters, Sonnen revealed his surprise that Pimblett never takes the time to challenge any fighters.
“The one difference between those two… I’ve never seen anyone get over to the extent that Paddy’s over without having this element, which is Paddy’s not calling anybody out,” Sonnen said. “I could narrow down a few guys that Sean [O’Malley] is likely to fight next… but I don’t see that for Paddy… Paddy doesn’t challenge anybody.”
While the lack of callouts would usually be considered the wrong call, Chael Sonnen acknowledged that the air of mystery around “The Baddy” is working. The intrigue surrounding the Scouser’s next move is something that is keeping him in the headlines.
“The American Gangster” ran through certain options for Pimblett from rematching Jared Gordon to even fighting high-ranked contenders such as Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier.
Ultimately, though, Chael Sonnen admitted that it’s almost impossible to say for sure. The fact that Pimblett’s lack of callouts prompts so much discussion is certainly interesting in itself.
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