Chael Sonnen Dismisses UFC Hall of Famer Status Despite 2024 Induction

Chael Sonnen, despite his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 117 being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, does not consider himself a true Hall of Famer yet.

Chael Sonnen, the man himself, doesn’t reckon he’s a bona fide UFC Hall of Famer. Not yet, at least.

The surprise came at UFC 300. During the main card broadcast, they announced that Sonnen’s fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 117 would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The induction is set for this summer in the Fight Wing.

But Sonnen? He’s not sold.

“Am I a Hall of Famer? Nah, I don’t think so,” Sonnen shared on The MMA Hour. He’s got a point, you know. You either are a Hall of Famer, or you aren’t.

Sonnen’s take? A fight can’t make you a Hall of Famer. It can make a Hall of Fame fight, sure. But the guys who get inducted separately? They’re in a different league.

Silva, on the other hand, is already in the Hall. He was inducted into the Pioneer Wing in 2023. So, whether Sonnen likes it or not, he’s joining his old rival. Their epic battle won Fight of the Year honors in 2010, after all.

Sonnen was at the event when the announcement was made. He was working as an analyst and personality. The reveal, though, was a total shocker.

“I had no idea,” Sonnen admitted. In hindsight, it all seems so obvious. He was there when Wanderlei Silva was brought in for his Hall of Fame announcement. They even put him in the same chair and brought him up at the same point in the show.

But Sonnen? He was clueless.

The day before, he was told he’d be doing a live thing on the importance of the BMF. Then Megan Olivi came up with a script. She asked if there was anything he didn’t want her to ask.

The giveaway? His name was on the seat.

“I thought, ‘Wow, these producers are so good they’ve even got a chair marked for me,'” Sonnen recalled. But he didn’t catch on. The surprise was a pleasant one, though.

It was a big moment for Sonnen. He was a huge star during his career peak. He seemed a bit emotional after the video package, but he chalked it up to shock and awe.

“Did I get emotional? Not that I know of,” Sonnen said. He couldn’t even hear the announcement. He heard Jon Anik mention August 2010 and California, and he remembered where he was then. But he didn’t hear the words, “You’re in.”

He had to ask Megan what was happening. “You’re in the Hall of Fame!” she told him. It was a wonderful moment.

“Surprises don’t come often in life, especially as an adult. It was awesome,” Sonnen said.

Sonnen and Silva will be joining UFC champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Frankie Edgar, and former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva as 2024 Hall of Fame inductees. The ceremony will be on June 27, 2024, at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.


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