UFC veteran Chael Sonnen is one of eight competitors in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, facing former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the opening round at Bellator 192.
If there is one thing about the tournament that causes concern in Sonnnen’s mind, it is the fact that he has to fight at heavyweight.
“I don’t think about the fight too much because, you have to understand that the big unknown for me, the part where I get apprehensive or my anxiety goes up is...I’ve never fought at heavyweight. I’ve worked out with plenty of heavyweights, so I know what I’m getting into. Even in my wrestling days, my main workout partners…these guys were the heavyweights and I was the next biggest size at 197 pounds, but I never entered a tournament at heavyweight. I don’t know, some of my techniques just flat out don’t work when you hit them on a guy that is that big, I’ve even found that out in the practice room. I’ve hit my techniques on a guy that’s much less than me and you you’ve gotta go to plan B and plan C. That’s a little bit on an excitement to, anytime that you get into something that you haven’t done before, been doing a lot of grappling lately and their is a different feel. There’s a bit of excitement into that unknown, a bit of excitement into that fear factor of what can happen, so I don’t know,” says Sonnen in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.
Sonnen has previously fought at both middleweight and light heavyweight throughout his professional MMA career.
Even though Rampage has fought at heavyweight once before, one thing Sonnen plans on doing at Bellator 192 is push the fighter from the second the bell rings.
“As far as with Rampage, I can tell you that I’ve trained real hard, I’m in really good shape and I’m gonna push him from the second they say go and if he’s got an answer for it…God bless him,” says Sonnen.
Bellator 192 takes place on Saturday, January 20 from The Forum in Inglewood, California with Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.