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27th Dec 2016

Why not even Conor McGregor should be waiting for UFC’s new owners to call, according to Chael Sonnen

Valid point.

Ben Kiely

If Conor McGregor wants a conversation with the UFC’s new owners, Chael Sonnen believes he has to be the one to make it happen.

After he knocked out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the first ever fighter to hold two belts in two separate divisions at the same time, Conor McGregor made his demands clear. He wanted to talk with the UFC’s new owners and he wanted a larger piece of the promotion’s pie in the form of equity.

Since that memorable post-fight press conference a whole lot of nothing has happened with regard to McGregor’s situation with the promotion, aside from the fact that he relinquished the featherweight strap and his vanquished foe Jose Aldo was promoted from his interim champion status. Apart from rumblings about a title defence against Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia and Aldo claiming he was offered an interim lightweight title fight, we don’t really know the promotion’s plans for their biggest star in 2017.

If McGregor is sitting back and waiting for the UFC to get in contact with him over an improved deal, Chael Sonnen believes he’s just going to wind up disappointed. The Bellator superstar explained on his podcast You’re Welcome that the big wigs are unlikely to make the call, even for a star as big as McGregor.

“When you have a business this size you don’t have time in the day to be setting up appointments and talking to everybody. Even if you look at Conor (McGregor) and go, ‘This guy’s the biggest draw and he’s the biggest star, let’s set some time aside.’ Man, pick up a phone or send a text message at some point. There’s only 24 hours in a day.”

Sonnen feels that Dana White and his fellow head honchos have bigger fish to fry as they are focusing their efforts on expanding into the massive Russian market. He doesn’t think they have the time to renegotiate a deal with a fighter like McGregor, who is already tied down to a contract.

“Dana and Ari Emanuel are in Russia right now, meeting with leaders of the Kremlin. They are running business and moving this thing forward. Is everything supposed to stop so they can talk to a fighter? They are running business and moving this thing forward. Is everything supposed to stop just so you can talk to a fighter?”

“At some point, you sit down and you talk to somebody and hash out a contract, but when a contract is done, that’s it! It has got an expiration date, typically somewhere around 15-18 months. We don’t need to talk again!”

If McGregor wants to talk business with the new owners, Sonnen believes all he has to do is pick up the phone himself. Although White has a lot on his plate right now, the UFC president is likely to respond when called upon.

“(Scott) Coker can’t sit down and talk with everyone. He just can’t. He’s got to have Richard Chou and his team to do this. Same thing goes with Dana White. You want to talk with Dana? Man, there’s not enough hours in a day. Send him a text message, the guy never sleeps, he will get back to you.”

“Guys are bitching because they can’t get a conversation? Come on man! That’s boyfriend-girlfriend talk right there. ‘I’m not getting enough attention.’ That’s boyfriend-girlfriend talk. This is business.”

Boyfriend-girlfriend talk? We sincerely doubt any phone calls between fighters and White have ended with, ‘No you hang up first!”