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Chael Sonnen defends John Kavanagh’s suggestion of Gunnar Nelson vs Khamzat Chimaev

gunnar nelson khamzat Chimaev

Gunnar Nelson vs Khamzat Chimaev

In what most fans are believing to be a horrible mismatch, John Kavanagh suggested that Gunnar Nelson and Khamzat Chimaev should fight in March.

“It’s been very interesting watching the rise of the uber-talented and charismatic Khamzat Chimaev. UFC is coming to London in March. as a fan, I’d love to see him fight Gunnar Nelson. Short flight to London for both of them….what you guys think?”

Chael Sonnen, however, has surprisingly come to the defence of Kavanagh and Nelson. While he believes that the fight should have been given to Neil Magny, he believes that Coach Kavanagh’s word means a lot.

“That’s amazing. I’m in. I’m right in. I feel as though that fight should go to Neil Magny [though].

“In all fairness, Neil Magny spoke up at the right time when he was the only one. That’s what I think but I’m not getting my way because Magny asked for it a meaningful amount of time ago.

“If coach Kavanagh came out with an opinion, you’d want to hear it. Somebody for Chimaev, you’d want to hear it. This is his own coach. That changes everything.”

Sonnen believes Nelson could have been champion

In what might be Sonnen’s most surprising statement, he claimed that there were points when he was watching Nelson and thought he could have beaten a welterweight champion.

“I could go back and watch Gunnar film and I could point out, ‘OK, on that night and other points on the calendar where he would have been the champion of the world.’

“I could take guys at 170, who won the belt on certain evenings, that would not have beaten Gunnar Nelson on certain nights.”

While Nelson wouldn’t be considered to be the most consistent fighter by many, Sonnen was quick to jump to his defence but claims that there is just one area where he has been underwhelming.

“Gunnar is also terribly consistent. People think that he’s not, you’re wrong about that but he consistently has problems with one position.

“I’m not going to say what that is, Gunnar knows what it is, Coach Kavanagh will know, those guys can work on it but I’m only sharing with you, he is very consistent.”

An appropriate matchup

Sonnen thinks that Nelson’s problem is one that could now be solved given his long absence.

“He doesn’t have anxiety, the lights don’t get too bright, he doesn’t shut down under the big moments.

“He has problems physically, not mentally with a position. The last time it got exposed was over three years ago which means that if he agrees with me and he knows what that position is, he could have solved that problem by now.”

The rest seems almost immaterial to Sonnen, however, as he thinks that Kavanagh’s word is enough to say that he could be a good matchup. Sonnen also believes that the test is one that he would like to see Chimaev face.

“Forget the whole damn story, Gunnar Nelson’s coach wants Gunnar Nelson in there with Chimaev. What else do I need to tell you?

“I do need to see the first 30 seconds of that fight. Is Chimaev going to see through those attacks, eat one hard one and deal with it? I need to see that he can do that, because if he’s not, he’s on his feet.”

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