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Chael Sonnen on the “cardinal sin” that lost Amanda Nunes her belt

Chael Sonnen Amanda Nunes

Chael Sonnen breaks down what went wrong for Amanda Nunes at UFC 269

Many are shocked with Amanda Nunes’ loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 269 but Chael Sonnen thinks he knows where things went wrong for Nunes.

While many might think that Amanda Nunes just got submitted, plain and simple, Sonnen has no faith that the choke would work elsewhere.

“If you try to break that choke down or you’re an aspiring fighter and you’re moving the coffee table and the couch out of the way so you can get on the floor with your cousin over the holidays and work on this hold, you’re wasting your time.”

“That wasn’t a submission hold. That submission hold would never work. Not in practice, not against somebody that didn’t know what they were doing, not against a champion. Julianna Pena did not mean for that to work.”

Nunes quit

Nunes’ loss didn’t come from some well-executed move that would catch any fighter out, Sonnen believes that Nunes was just drained.

“Amanda quit. That’s a whole other level of ‘what the heck just happened’ moment. A whole other level… Amanda got tired and she gave up and she did it in record time.

“All fighters will quit throughout their career, whether it’s in the practice room or the unfortunate situation where it happens in competition or you quit for a round but you survived and you came back.

“Every fighter will quit. They don’t ever want to be caught quitting. They don’t ever want to be called a quitter.”

Sonnen also thinks he knows why fighters don’t tend to throw around being a quitter as an accusation.

“You know fighters talk really nasty to one another but you will never hear any fighter call another fighter a quitter because they don’t want to be called it themselves.

“It is the cardinal sin but we all do it. Everybody does it but you don’t want to be caught doing it and you definitely don’t want to disrespect. There’s no greater disrespect you can say.”

What happened against Pena

While every fighter can quit, Sonnen made sure to point out that he still has a great deal of respect for Nunes and isn’t calling her a quitter.

“I’m not calling Amanda a quitter, I’m just sharing that, in that moment, she checked out.”

Since it was so early in the fight, however, it does seem unusual that Nunes would have quit.

“The question also becomes why. Why did she quit? She was only in there for seven-plus minutes. That wasn’t even very much time by Amanda standards, who we’ve seen join the five-round club and never lose a single moment, let alone a round.

“If you ever find yourself in a fight that’s more difficult than you anticipated it was going to be, things will unravel, mentally, very fast.”

Facing the reality that she had a lot of fight left to go, Sonnen believes that Nunes preemptively gave up after surmising that she couldn’t last the rest of the fight.

In a style, somewhat reminiscent of the likes of Conor McGregor, when he gave up his neck to Nate Diaz in their first fight, Amanda Nunes just seemed to make a mistake out of desperation.

“You start to freak out, you will go into panic mode. You start to do that math and go, ‘This is my one opportunity, she’s got a submission, nobody’s going to know the difference.’

“Then you’ll go, ‘What did I do that for. I can’t believe I did that. That’s not me.’

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