Chael Sonnen made a name for himself in Brazil as public enemy No. 1 by ripping into the likes of Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Wanderlei Silva any chance he got.
Now, a few weeks out from taking on another Brazilian, Sonnen appears to be more respectful.
The former contender to both the UFC middleweight and light heavyweight titles will face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua Augusst 17 at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen. The card takes place from the TD Garden in Boston.
“Rua seems like a really great guy,” said Sonnen, during a recent interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub. “He’s one of the few legends that are still fighting.”
Sonnen doesn’t throw the word “legend” around too often, as he further explained.
“Anytime you get old and you retire from the sport, there’s been an instant assignment of legend status,” he explained. “He truly is a legend. I admire him, I admire what he’s done in the right; he’s good.”
However, the old Sonnen did come back out a little, as he added, “he’s not me, but he is very good.”