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Chael Sonnen calls Anderson Silva a ‘fruity boy’ on TSN

By Zach Arnold | November 16, 2011

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In one of the most execrable, wretched, content-free MMA interviews you could possibly watch, Michael Landsberg did his best to be insufferable, pretentious, ignorant, and obnoxious while talking to one-trick gimmick pony Chael Sonnen. As mind-numbing of a 10-minute interview as you will ever endure in your life, this transcript does not do it justice. Sonnen once again drops a gay slur during an interview, this time on national television in Canada and somehow manages to look like a babyface compared to the atrocious showing here by Landsberg.

If you read the transcript alone and don’t watch the video, you won’t understand where I’m coming from with my comments. It’s one thing to read the transcript (below) but … the interview tone … I can’t emphasize just how stupid and smarmy it is.

Like the Forrest Griffin tweet controversy, I don’t expect fighters to be MENSA members. However, now that UFC has signed a deal with Fox, don’t think that there will won’t be consequences for the behavior of their ‘independent contractors’ for the language & expressions they use to describe other people. Great timing, too, given UFC’s PR blitz to attempt to gin up positive attention by filing their lawsuit in New York.

The interview started with boilerplate Sonnen shtick where he claims he’s the Middleweight champion and that he defended ‘his title’ against Brian Stann in Houston. Sonnen challenged Anderson Silva after the fight and then went on Twitter to give ‘Andy’ a deadline to accept his fight offer. Landsberg starts off by basically insinuating that Sonnen is backing down from the fight now.

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “I just I want to make sure that I have it correct…”

CHAEL SONNEN: “Well, you know what I said but you tell me that I backed down.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “I heard you backed down.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “That’s garbage. HOW? How do you just say things like ‘I hear you backed down.’ Here I am looking to pick a fight with Anderson (Silva). I backed down? I stood there big and tall and he covered his mouth like a little fruity boy and you’re going to come on ESPN and say that I backed down while I give you a free interview? He’s the one who backed down. How could you even say something so stupid? Why don’t you go try to get a free interview with Anderson Silva, see how that works out for you.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Hold onto that, I like that.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “You’re going to tell me that I backed down? What do you want to do?”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Does the offer stand?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “If I tell you I’ll sell you my car for $10,000, you think I can just call you back a year from now and say, hey, I’ll take that $10,000 for the car. That’s not how offers work. Is that how you guys do business in Canada?”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Yeah, that’s it.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “Because in my country that created business, offers expire. I made him an offer. Apparently, it didn’t work. He didn’t accept it. So, it’s not that I backed down but apparently I need to present him with a new offer.”


CHAEL SONNEN: “You guys probably don’t do that in socialism but in America in a capitalistic society, that’s how things work.”


A minute later, Landsberg brings up the moment in the Oakland fight where Sonnen got submitted by Anderson in the fifth round.

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Have you worked on your jiu-jitsu since then? You certainly looked like you had against Brian Stann.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “I mean, I work on skills every day.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Would you agree that your jiu-jitsu at that point was probably deficient?”


MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “No? So, how did you let a guy after you dominated him for four rounds submit you in the fifth round?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “Well, look, it’s a two-man sport, it’s not a matter of letting somebody do something. I’ve been doing stuff my whole life… you know, guy walks his whole life, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t stumble every now and then.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Right. And, if you fight him again… how do you prevent that from happening, the stumble?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “Oh, I… who cares if it does happen. Who cares?”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Who cares if it does happen? I don’t get that.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “I’m sure you don’t.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “No, but what do you mean?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “You don’t. That’s why you’re a commentator and you don’t get locked in the Octagon. I think you chose the right career path.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “So, you don’t care if you lose to Anderson Silva?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “Is this like gotcha questions? Let’s just move (on). This is turning confrontational here while I’ve given up my time to come and give you an interview. Do you have anything pertinent to ask or are we just going around and around here?”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Well, I thought that was a pertinent question. I asked you about jiu-jitsu.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “Well, it’s not! It’s a stupid question. So, read the little palm of your hand that you wrote your points down on and move (on) to the next one. Let’s see if we can actually do something here today, give the people something to watch.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Is the A in MMA the Art, is that dead?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “I don’t even know what Mixed Martial Arts stands for, OK? I mean, I don’t know where that came from. Mixed Martial Arts is a legal term that can date back to the 2001 Nevada State legislature. I don’t work for the Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Championship. I’m not a martial artist. I am a fighter. I work for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and I don’t care about art or their little gis or their little cotton belts.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “And would that describe, for instance, the Nogueira Brothers?”


MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “You’re talking about the little gis and you’re talking about Anderson Silva, who’s a black belt, right? And he got it from the brothers and I’m asking you whether your description of the way Mixed Martial Arts shouldn’t be describes those guys.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “We’re talking about Anderson Silva? Since when? You just said… when are we talking about Anderson Silva?”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “I was asking you. See, are you, are you playing with me now or are you being serious? Because people are watching this and going, what’s he talking about?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “I am truly confused. Here, do you have a question for me? Let’s do that. I’m not trying to be a jerk here but I am truly flabbergasted by this. Are we doing an interview or what are we doing here? What is it that you want to talk about? You’re bringing up a fight from two years ago?”


CHAEL SONNEN: “I’d be happy to talk about it but certainly if you follow this sport at all you know that these questions have all been covered. So, I mean, if this your first day in MMA, I guess… I mean, I guess. Do you know what the Octagon is? Have you heard of that before? I’m sorry, let me calm down, I don’t want to give you nightmares tonight.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “And why would I possibly have nightmares? OK.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “Watching a guy out of control, just losing control over here.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “So, you think you’re totally in control at this point?”


CHAEL SONNEN: “Control of WHAT?”


CHAEL SONNEN: “Of my domain? Sure.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “It seems like Anderson Silva is a humble guy. How has he gotten you so riled up? Is that a legitimate question?”





MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “GSP, then. You like him as a fighter?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “Right! Grease St. Pierre.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Grease St. Pierre. Insinuating that…”

CHAEL SONNEN: “I do like him as a fighter.”


CHAEL SONNEN: “I think he’s pretty good.”


CHAEL SONNEN: “I think he’s excellent. I think he’s great.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “So, you said you stopped watching because you like to watch hockey and rugby and any place where a fight will break out, implying that he doesn’t really fight. Is that correct?”


MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “But you just said you like him as a fighter? I don’t understand. I must be missing something here.”

CHAEL SONNEN: “I… you got that right.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “SO, do you like his style of fighting or not?”



MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “Would you beat him if you fought him?”

CHAEL SONNEN: “I would do my best.”

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “I would make the assumption you would do your best any time in the Octagon, would you not? So that doesn’t really tell me much.”

*removing microphone*

MICHAEL LANDSBERG: “So, you’re leaving now because of what reason? This kind of has this Mike Tyson feel back in the day. Perhaps, you should do a few sit-ups as well. Apparently, that is the end of… a man that we were actually really looking forward to talking to. Chael Sonnen, who is getting up, could do a little play-by-play now and watch him as he apparently is going to depart and I have to say 3,000 shows after we started, it’s the first time…”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Chael Sonnen calls Anderson Silva a ‘fruity boy’ on TSN”

  1. Alexander Mogue says:

    Chael looks like the idiot here. yeah Landsberg asked some dumb questions. But Chaels act is pathetic at this point.

  2. Keith Harris says:

    Yeah, I agree that it was a horrible showing by Landsberg, who used to be one of the best mainstream journalists for asking probing questions and getting insightful interviews out of the usually secretive wrestling community. But then again, every interviewer is forced to dumb down for Sonnen as he never leaves work mode.

    Ugh, I’m sick and tired of his act. I don’t find his homophobic and xenophobic innuendo funny at all. Rather than being “TV gold”, this was just painful and uncomfortable to watch. Moreover, if I was Dana White, then I wouldn’t want a fighter bringing attention to the fact that UFC’s top Canadian babyface star is a greaser on TSN. Just all around dumb. More ammunition for the Culinary Union and their enemies in New York, just what UFC needs right now!

    • Alexander Mogue says:

      Well Dana and Co. makes no effort to hide these idiots behind the media darlings. So they just stick out like a sore thumb.

  3. Bad showing by Landsberg, much much worse by Sonnen. And, to be fair, I think Landsberg would have been alright if there wasn’t the tone and provocation set by Sonnen.

    Too many people – in particular a lot of MMA journalists – are far too forgiving of his schtick. It’s embarrassing.

  4. Norm says:

    Truth be told, I didn’t get to actually watch the video, but I did read the transcript. Is Zach referring to “fruity boy” as a gay slur now?

  5. Light23 says:

    This was honestly the best interview I’ve ever seen. Chael Sonnen is still MAH HERO.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    The UFC wasn’t joking about doing 36 shows in 2012. That would be 3 shows per month, and they already have the the dates out for January.

    1) Jan 14th is Aldo/Mendez
    2) Jan 20th (Friday) is the first FX card.
    3) Jan 28th is the first show on FOX. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Evans, Rampage, or some other combination of Light Heavyweights on that card.

    I will take 2 free to 1 pay show per month formal…. I know some months that won’t happen, but to me the perfect months are where they have FOX, FX, and PPV each for one show.

    • Alan Conceicao says:

      In all seriousness, they’d have to actively try to make a show on Fox that interests me less than UFC 142 will given that headliner. Of course, I’m fine with getting better fights for free than needing to pay for them.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        There is nothing from the UFC 142 card that would make me want to buy the PPV. And I typically can find almost any UFC PPV worthy of buying. The Main Event is bland. There isn’t much on the undercard that interests me. i don’t need big names to excite me. Heck, this weekends card doesn’t have any huge superstars and I love basically the entire main PPV card.

        I think this FOX deal will end up working out really well for fans. We are going to get a lot of free fights between FOX, FX, and FUEL TV. So much that I’m not sure how much more of an appetite I will have for Bellator or HDNet fights….

        • Mark says:

          Nearly doing a card a week is going to be horrible overkill. Look at how watered down shows are now, it will get even worse. And WEC champions and a new network won’t change that. They will look back on this as a mistake in the future. 1 FX Special and 1 PPV a month is all they should be doing.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          There’s two ways to look at it. You can argue it will overexpose the UFC and prevent people from buying PPVs because they’re watching so much for free. That is one way. The other way, which is the sane and rational way for literally 99.999999% of people involved with, fans of, participating in, blogging about, and so on within or viewing the sport, is that while it will likely end the idea of “stacked PPV cards” and make them more reliant on single fights, the upshot will be more opportunities to make money by having more shows along with increased exposure for everyone involved. I am more than willing to take the tradeoff of awesome free TV fights or even just good free TV fights if it means that crap PPVs I wasn’t going to watch anyways become one fight shows.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Increased exposure is certainly a positive.

          One thing I noticed with Strikeforce was that by putting somebody in the main event, it automatically gave him more credibility in the eyes of the fans. It’s illogical. But that’s how it happens.

          So by putting on more events, they are increasing the number of main and co-main events per year. This will give the fans the perception that there are more “worthy” main event guys.

          Really, nothing will have changed, but I think it helps for the long term. It’s a way to create more stars.

          I’m beyond thinking that the UFC can water MMA down to much. There is a strong niche fanbase who enjoys watching fights. That isn’t going to change. The only thing it will do is hurt their competitors because if there is enough UFC out there, what is the point of watching somebody else?

        • edub says:

          You guys think that spells the end of SF too?

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          The only rumor I’ve heard regarding the future of Strikeforce is that it will continue to exist only until which time the contracts for those fighters in the promotion that cannot be carted over to the UFC have expired. Whether or not it appears on Showtime, I have no idea. I think part of what made Dana happy about Hershman leaving Showtime to take the job running HBO Sports was that those replacing him in the interim may be more willing to pay for additional shows (at what rate, who knows…and who cares?) until which time the promotion is no longer contractually necessary.

          But I think anyone that is wondering about the long term health of Strikeforce in thinking that Zuffa should or necessarily wants to promote a second brand is not thinking rationally. There was never a solid or rational reason as to why Zuffa would run a second promotion independent of attempting to prevent other promoters from potentially grabbing a foothold. Arguments can be further made that those moves were unnecessary and ultimately fruitless given that even with the UFC’s move to network TV, a secondary MMA promotion exists and will likely appear on TV for the foreseeable future.

  7. Mark says:

    Chael is so boring now. Find this pony a new trick. His rematch won’t sell what UFC is expecting it will. The fight is ancient history, Anderson Silva isn’t popular, title fights in general don’t mean much these days, and he’s just doing a rehash of the same act.

    He needs to study Ali interviews to see how to keep insults feeling fresh.

  8. edub says:

    Maybe I’m completely wrong here, because I seem to be in the minority, but I don’t really see what Landsberg did wrong. He asked a few probing questions (the only way he could have really gone farther is to bring up TRT), and he didn’t back down much when Chael acted like a dick.

    Was he supposed to play to the character that is Chael Sonnen?

    I feel like I’m completely in the dark here when it comes the outrage pointed at Michael. IMO Chael incurs all of the blame here for sticking to schtick too much.

  9. PL Allie says:

    Disagree with most of you on Landsberg. Re-watch the interview with Kos, Dana and Mayhem. The guy always ask those kind of question, Sonnen is the only one who took them to the first degree. Landsberg probably thought Sonnen would side-step those questions since he’s better than most guys on the mic.

  10. Megatherium says:

    Can someone please enlighten me as to what a ‘gay slur’ is? I’m not familiar with this terminology.


  11. Zack says:

    Sonnen’s gimmick has jumped the shark, IMO

  12. EJ says:

    The only one who jumped the shark here was Landsberg, seriously how in the world do you screw up the best interview in mma. You really have to be an idiot to not just sit back and let Sonnen shine, I watch him on MMA Live and they just let him be Chael. This guy was obviously trying to get cute and ended up looking like a fool. He should be thankfull to Sonnen for walking out on his because at least that interview has a higlight that and watching Sonnen make him look like a chump.

    • Nepal says:

      EJ, best response here yet.

      Lansberg should know after doing 3000 shows, how to play with his interviewee. Chael doesn’t want to have to respond to a stupid statement like “you backed out of your challenge to Anderson”. This is Lansberg’s style but to borrow a phrase from MMA “styles make interviews”. What would happen if Landsberg asked Nick Diaz a question like that? Would it work? Of course not. Chael is a unique interviewee, I could have told you Chael wouldn’t put up with that kind of persistent question. I can’t fathom how Landsberg has been on all these years, he’s horrible and always has been.

  13. Safari_Punch says:

    The tone of OTR is closer to “Fighting Words” with Mike Straka with some attempts at humor by Landsberg when he has a one-on-one guest.

    Anytime any of the wrestlers have ever tried to stay in character with Landsberg, he sees right through it, the wrestler realizes he has and they go back to being themselves. Sonnen figured he could stay in character and that Lansberg was going to play along, but he just threw it right back at Chael.

    There may have been a personality clash as well. We’ve all met people who we cannot connect with on any level and are better off not dealing with them. This could be one of those cases too….

  14. Safari_Punch says:

    Lansberg usually knows what he is talking about in the realm of combat sports, so the mispronunciation of “Nogueira” and some of the other comments may have been Lansberg trolling the troll.

    Lansberg insinuating that Chael was backing down from a fight was not serious at all – he just wanted some clarification that Sonnen didn’t want to give on that or any topic.

  15. […] could possibly say next.  Check out this Chael Sonnen TSN interview that Awful Announcing and Fight Opinion passed […]

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