Chael Sonnen now finds himself in a verbal war with former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor and 'The American Gangster' claims he had no plans to instigate a public spat in the first place. Sonnen said he always saw McGregor as his younger brother and looked out for him.
He went on to say he thought McGregor admired him as well but understands that might not be the case anymore. McGregor was offended by Sonnen calling him a 'little rich weirdo' and retorted with jibes of his own. This led to a heated exchange of words between the pair on Twitter.
Speaking to ESPN MMA recently, Sonnen clarified he never intended to offend the Irishman. However, when McGregor kept coming at him with offensive jibes, he decided to fight fire with fire.
"I don't know where that whole thing's going. I was not looking to have a fight with Conor McGregor. When you're removed from the sport and I am, it's in a different role. I have to build these guys up. When I was in the sport, I was coming after [other fighters] but I just don't feel that now when Conor's the one taking the risk, getting out there and actually competing and I'm over here on the sidelines, I do feel the need to be a little polite. I have an ego too but I thought Conor and I had a different relationship. I thought he admired me. I thought he was my little brother that I had been looking out for years and he's looking up to me as a great guy with all the answers, that's what I thought. I still maintain that and I told Conor 'back out the door, won't call the whole thing off' but I may be a fool. He may not look at me that way and I may need to glove up verbally. I might be in a battle here," Sonnen said.
Check out Sonnen's interaction with ESPN MMA below:
Conor McGregor could fight for lightweight gold in his return to the octagon
Conor McGregor is currently recovering from the leg break he suffered at UFC 264 earlier this year. Latest pictures and videos shared by the Irishman suggest he's slowly easing back into training but we'll definitely not see him in action this year. In a tweet he later deleted, McGregor suggested he was aiming to return mid-2022.
In another Tweet, McGregor also said he wants his next opponent to be whoever's holding the lightweight title at the time.