Chael Sonnen’s most bizzare call to date.
In what may be one of Chael Sonnen’s most surprising statements to date, he claims that he used to say that Gregor Gillespie was capable of beating Khabib Nurmagomedov when ‘The Eagle’ was still fighting.
“When I would have private conversations… people would ask me all the time, is there anyone that could beat Khabib. Who’s the guy that can stop Khabib and in private conversations I would say we actually have a guy now.
“He’s 11-0, he’s a national wrestling champion, nobody’s ever come close to taking him down, he’s taken absolutely everybody down, oh, and by the way, he can hold up.”
Sonnen was of course talking about Gillespie but admits he never took these thoughts to his public audience.
#OnThisDay in 2018: Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov finally met in the Octagon! ?
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 6, 2021
Where Khabib was special.
While most will laugh at the prospect of an unknown fighter that got knocked out by Kevin Lee being the one to be able to beat Nurmagomedov, Sonnen could have a point about the matchup at the very least.
“Most guys that fight Khabib simply don’t have the lungs and the endurance. Khabib weaponised pace like nobody else but that’s very hard to see.
“Sports announcers don’t talk about, ‘he got him tired, he did more,’ they don’t talk about that. Athletes see it and they respect it.”
So while Sonnen believes that most viewers wouldn’t see it, he thinks that the pace of Gillespie is where Nurmagomedov could have been in trouble.
“One thing that Khabib could do was push a pace that was much higher than what the opponent could push back.
“(Gregor) made his living getting people tired. That’s how highly I personally think of him.
“Now in all fairness, I did not do that publicly but the reason I didn’t do that publicly was you didn’t know what a Gregor Gillespie was.”
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