Chael Sonnen does not consider himself a member of the UFC Hall of Fame despite his induction in 2024


Chael Sonnen doesn't think he's a real UFC Hall of Famer.

At UFC 300, Sonnen received a pleasant surprise when it was announced during the main card broadcast that his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 117 this summer would be inducted into the Fight Wing Hall of Fame. But as touched as he was by the moment, “The American Gangster” doesn’t believe he’s a true Hall of Famer. At least not yet.

“Would I think about it? [myself a Hall of Famer]? No, I wouldn’t,” Sonnen said Wednesday The MMA lesson. “It’s either you or it’s not you. But no, I don't think so. I think you have to go in. I don't think there can be a fight [for you]. I don't think that makes me a Hall of Famer, I think it makes a Hall of Fame fighter. That's always been my interpretation of it. I feel like the guys who go in individually are in a different class.”

Silva is already in the Hall – he was inducted into the Pioneer Wing in 2023 – and whether he considers himself one or not, Sonnen now joins his old rival in their epic fight, which won the Fight of the Year award in 2010 .

As is typical with announcements of this nature, the UFC arranged for Sonnen to be present at the event and serve as an analyst and personality. Sonnen says the actual revelation came as a complete shock to him.

“I never knew,” Sonnen said as he recounted the scene. “It’s all so obvious in hindsight. I was there when they brought Wanderlei [Silva] In [for his Hall of Fame announcement]. They put him in the same chair and brought him up at the same time in the show. But no, I didn't know.

“I was told the day before: 'We will get you and after the second fight, right in front of the BMF, you and Megan.' [Olivi] “We're going to do a live broadcast about the importance of the BMF.” … Then Megan actually showed up – and Megan even had a script. And she said, “Hey, is there anything you don't want me to ask you?” And then she took notes while I answered her.

“But the news was when we went down to the seat that the seat said 'Chael.' I remember thinking, “Wow, for this little point in the show, their producers are so good that they even have a chair for me with my name on it.” That should have been the clue, but that was not the case. I didn't know and I'm really glad. It was a very nice surprise. Very funny moment.”

All in all, it was a wonderful moment for Sonnen, who was arguably the sport's biggest star at the peak of his career. After the video package was released, Sonnen seemed a little emotional about what had just happened, but “The Bad Guy,” as always in his role, attributed it to shock and awe.

“Not that I know of,” Sonnen said when asked if he was emotional. “I couldn’t hear! When you're so close you can't hear the acoustics. Apparently Jon Anik made the announcement – and I heard Anik say something about August 2010 and the time in California, and I remember thinking, “I know where I was in August.” [2010]”I know the time when I was in Oakland.” I remember thinking that, but I never heard them say, “You're in.” So they played the montage and I stood up and whispered to Megan to, “What’s happening?” She said, “You’re in the Hall of Fame!” My goodness! It was a wonderful moment. It's not often you get surprised in life, especially as an adult…it was great. It was a very fun surprise.”

Silva and Sonnen join UFC champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Frankie Edgar and former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva as inductees into the 2024 Hall of Fame and will be inducted during the 2024 UFC Hall of Fame ceremony on June 27 at the T- Mobile Arena recorded in Las Vegas.