Chael Sonnen doesn’t believe Jake Paul’s combat sports career is over.
To the former UFC champion and MMA pundit Paul’s defeat to Tommy Fury Sunday may end up engaging his fans – they’ll stay around to watch the boxer turned YouTuber’s return.
“Sometimes losing a lot can hurt someone,” Sonnen stated Monday on The MMA Hour. Roy Jones fights and doesn’t make a fortune, but that is not because he can defeat him. Jon Jones also sells empty tickets, which are thousands or thousands, to prove that he is the best fighter. If he would have loss somewhere in there, if you would have just created the idea in somebody’s mind that you were [beatable].”
Fury defeated Paul in two judges’ scorescards. Afterward, Paul targeted an immediate rematch with his rival made possible by a reported clause in their fight contract.
Fight fans have been weighing in on Paul’s next move and whether they will be following it. But according to Sonnen, that doesn’t apply to the younger Paul.
” I don’t think a loss hurts. A loss only helps to give it validity and makes it real,” he stated. He said, “If he had won that fight there would be many people claiming to have worked for him.” A lot of people claiming work on this whole experience in the first place, which they shouldn’t be. This level of absurdity is unacceptable. No, I believe that sometimes a loss is what an honest adjudication needs. I don’t have a problem with it.”
The same principle applied to Sonnen’s combat sport career. He had the worst record, and fans didn’t turn up. Sonnen lost three titles shots in his first fight as a superstar. They still watched because he made them care about him.
Fury vs. Paul capped a hectic weekend of fight sports that included events from Bellator and UFC as well as BKFC, UFC and ONE. Then there was an exhibition bout between retired boxing great Floyd Mayweather and reality star turned fighter Aaron Chalmers. But the Sunday fight did draw a tremendous amount of interest online, and Paul claimed he made $30 million in defeat.
Sonnen has some tips for those who are responsible for Paul’s future. The 45-year-old retired fighter thinks the idea to place the Fury vs. Paul fight on a Sunday was a huge misstep.
“I mean, the fact that it was on ESPN+ and I didn’t know that truly does piss me off,” he said. “Somebody really failed to do that. … If anybody is fighting on a Sunday, I don’t care. Just so you know, I will not be in a fight if you are fighting on Sundays. If you choose the Lord’s Day to go into a fight, I’m out.”