UFC and Bellator MMA veteran Chael Sonnen recently announced his retirement from professional MMA competition.
Dana White is happy for the retired Sonnen and that he got a few big paychecks in Bellator MMA before calling it a career.
“I like Chael a lot. I have a very good relationship with Chael,” White told Sirius XM. “I like the fact that this is the hardest place in the world to stay and make a living here. It’s a very hard place. You have to be one of the best in the world to stick around here and when guys can’t stick around here anymore and they go somewhere else and they can get paid and make money, I love it. Good for them.”
Sonnen had two separate stints in the UFC, plus he had a total of three shots at the promotion’s light heavyweight and middleweight titles.
A retired Sonnen may be known for a brash attitude than his fighting style, but White doesn’t think that Sonnen is really a bad person.
“I don’t think Chael was necessarily a bad guy. Before Conor McGregor, Chael was the best guy out there who knew how to push buttons and not only knew how to piss off other fighters but also piss off the fans and do things like that,” White said. “I think he was very calculated and very smart in how he conducted himself in this business.”
The now retired Sonnen last competed at Bellator 222, losing to former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida.