• UFC 136

Sonnen admits Stann almost bankrupted him

ESPN staff
July 11, 2011

Chael Sonnen has confessed he would have no money left if he had been able to bet on Brian Stann's recent fight with Chris Leben, because he thought Stann would get beaten.

Sonnen has been booked for a clash with the former Marine at UFC 136, despite his best efforts to call out Wanderlei Silva and Lyoto Machida. The American middleweight seems disappointed that the UFC has given him such a tough customer.

"It's a lot harder fight than I thought I was going to have. I didn't think I was going to have the No. 6 guy in the world right out of the gate," Sonnen told Heavy.

"That's a really hard match, and that's a really great guy. We have to meet up at some point; we're ranked very close to each other. That fight is going to happen at some point whether I want to do it or not.

"I wasn't ready for a Brian Stann-style fight; I was ready to take on a Wanderlei or a Machida or something like that. I'll need to sit down and re-evaluate and up the intensity, that's for sure."

Speaking candidly about Stann's victory over Leben at UFC 125, which saw the Crippler knocked out for only the second time in his career, Sonnen confessed he never expected Stann to perform to such a high level.

"I really would have lost whatever they would let me bet; I would have lost it all. I thought Leben would beat him.

"I think Stann's an awesome guy. I didn't think he could get by Leben. Nobody has dominated Chris Leben like that - ever - in his entire career. That was kind of like an "Oh wow" moment when I saw that in my living room. That was a special performance.

"Then they gave him a really easy fight [against Jorge Santiago] after that, and he went out and did some more great things. Even an easy fight, you've still got to go do the fight, and he did. He's really good."

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