Chael Sonnen—American Hero: The Mixtape

Fightland Blog

By Fightland Staff

“I’m the man with the biggest arms. I’m the man with the biggest arm, I'm the man with the greatest charm, and the man who came to Chicago to do Bisping a lot of harm.” 

“I am candy coated poison, my friend. Trust me.”

“Anybody that tells you bad guys don’t win never met Chael Sonnen.”

Chael Sonnen has said a lot of the things. Deservedly so. 

Chael Sonnen. The American Gangster. The who man challenged Anderson Silva for the middleweight championship, and who for a great part of the five rounds slated for their title-fight, looked as though he would be the one to dethrone the great Spider Silva. The man who got booted from the UFC and FOX Sports for getting caught cheating, and still got a spot as a ESPN mixed martial arts analyst.

The things one could say about Chael Sonnen are virtually infinite, which, in a way, translates to his own infinity. Whether or not you like him, the man is, as they say, larger than life. Until Conor McGregor showed up in the UFC calling any and every significant name out across the lighter divisions, there wasn’t one name in the UFC who could rile the guts, hearts and minds of fans like the American Gangster did.

Ups, downs, glory, mistakes—they riddle Sonnen’s career more than any other fighter. And still, Sonnen remains at the forefront of the sport, one way or another.

This morning we came across a strange little composition artfully titled Chael P. Sonnen—American Hero. It’s a 20-or-so minute long collage of Sonnen’s most iconic rants and interviews, a treasure trove of quotable material that is vast—and delivered in a fashion that should prompt anyone who remembers Sonnen’s time spent in the UFC to meditate on the undeniable mark this athlete left on the sport—spread over the meditative hum of forest sounds and emotive piano chords. He goes from riffs challenging and criticizing his most notorious rivals—Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Lyoto Machida—to outrightly accusing Black House MMA of being crooks. 

Just remember one of the times after he got caught with too-high testosterone levels: 

You must’ve caught me on a low day! I told them to feast their eyes, and fantasize! I offer no apology. Thats testosterone, ladies and gentlemen! What do you mean higher than the norm, who are you comparing me to?

Chael Sonnen is too damn macho for these standardized testing procedures from the California State Control Board.

Or the time he said he’d out Wanderlei Silva and the Nogueira brothers:

Wanderlei: You’re an immigrant from Brazil. I am a gangster from America. Are you sure you want to play that game with me? Listen Wanderlei, I will do a home invasion on you. I will cut the power to your house and the next thing you hear will be me climbing up your stairs in a pair of night vision goggles I bought in the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine. I’ll pick the lock to the master room door—chk chk—take a picture of you in bed with the Nogueira brothers working on your “jiu jitsu,” and I will take said photograph post to www.dorksfrombrazil.com, password: NOT required. Username: NOT required. That, Wanderlei, is how you threaten someone. Dummy.

The tape undeniable paints a somewhat haunting image of Chael. At its core, it's a sad piece. The music, paired up with the cover art, which delivers the fighter in purplish hues with eyes as though stuck in tunnel vision, grants listeners an experience that is more sad than anything else. It elicits listeners to get lost in the chatter of Chael Sonnen's career, while being washed over the melancholy sounds of piano-infused rainfall. Maybe the tape's creator, Pardon the Interruption, perceives Sonnen as someone crying out for attention. Someone who might feel misunderstood. Maybe they imagine someone who is lonely in an otherwise highly publicized existence. 

But more than anything, this release gives Chael Sonnen's career a poetic weight that cannot be ignored. And it won't be. This man's words will be carried across every mixed martial arts channel for years to come. 

Check out the tape above, and remember the time Chael told Anderson Silva, “welcome to Two Thousand and Chael.” 


Check out these related stories:

Chael Sonnen Joins ESPN

Chael Sonnen on His next Gig, Tournament-Style MMA, and Being Remembered Forever

I Want to Name My Dog After Chael Sonnen