Before Conor McGregor emerged as the top trash talker in the UFC, Chael Sonnen set the standard for mixed martial arts heels.
Sonnen was well aware of the fact that MMA fans were tuning in to his fights in the hope of seeing him knocked out and he took advantage of that pay-per-view interest ahead of title fights with Anderson Silva and Jon Jones.
Conor McGregor followed Sonnen’s example when it came to promoting fights but ‘The American Gangster’ is of the opinion that McGregor is barking up the wrong tree with his McGregor Sports and Entertainment venture.
Amid reports of McGregor arranging a charity exhibition fight with former rival Dustin Poirier, Sonnen advised the Irishman to avoid going down the line of promotion.
“I wish Conor the best, but if I could give Conor any advice, and I’ve given him plenty over the years – do not go into the promoting game,” Sonnen told MMA Fighting. “You’re going to fall on your face, and you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Sonnen suggested that McGregor would be unwise to attempt to rival the UFC, comparing his promotional venture to that of Floyd Mayweather.
Both McGregor and Mayweather have advisors and the pair successfully promoted a crossover bout three years ago, although the UFC played a large role in allowing ‘The Notorious’ to make the switch to the ring.
“I don’t think Conor will ever promote a fight any more than Floyd Mayweather ever promoted a boxing event,” Sonnen said. “Floyd runs around with TMZ and the Money Team – you couldn’t pull into their office right now if you wanted to, because it doesn’t exist.
“It’s not real, any more than McGregor Sports and Entertainment is real. It’s just some names that they put on a letter and file for a tax ID number. These aren’t real things. But he needs to keep it that way.
“I’m not kicking Conor right now. I really don’t care what he does one way or the other. I’ve watched these guys go broke all the time. The inmates cannot run the asylum. There’s a few people alive that know how to promote. Everybody else is going to lose money. Conor is going to lose money.”