Success of Chael Sonnen, Conor McGregor Has Other Fighters Changing Their Approaches

Published on June 9th, 2015 10:25 pm EST

Over the past couple of years, Chael Sonnen (now retired) and Conor McGregor have generated fortunes for themselves through their gift of the gab.

Chael Sonnen earned himself multiple title fights (including one against Jon Jones) and millions of dollars thanks to his ability to talk. He wasn't the most exciting fighter in the world (he is now retired) but fans tuned in to his fights because of his ability to work his opponents into a frenzy.

Conor McGregor, arguably the UFC's biggest star since Brock Lesnar, has a title fight upcoming against Featherweight champion Jose Aldo despite the fact that Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes are likely more deserving of shots. The reason? McGregor is charismatic and an incredible talker and people want to see him fight against Jose Aldo.

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The fact is - people don't want boring fights and boring fighters.

Ryan Bader, for instance, isn't known for his ultra-exciting fights (unless he is getting knocked out, that is). Bader clearly thought he'd change up his approach to self-promotion in the weeks leading up to the Cormier/Johnson fight, however, as he took a more aggressive stance in pointing out that he deserved the shot at the Light Heavyweight title and not Daniel Cormier.

Cormier did not take kindly to Bader's new approach and called him out in the post UFC 187 press conference. The two nearly came to blows and it was assumed that Bader had talked himself into a title shot. The UFC thought differently, however, and announced that Cormier would be making his first title defense against Alexander Gustafsson later in the year.

Ben Rothwell, fresh off of a victory against Matt Mitrione at a recent UFN card, decided to cut a pro-wrestling style promo in his post-fight interview. The interview included some sort of an evil cackle and a promise that he would soon be fighting for a title. Many eyebrows were raised. Whether or not that interview will raise Rothwell's profile in the Heavyweight division remains to be seen.

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In some cases, self-promotion works out wonderfully for a fighter (see Conor McGregor). In other cases, self-promotion can not obscure the fact that a fighter may not have the most exciting fighting style in the world (Ryan Bader).

A fighter who can talk AND knock his opponents out? If you can do both of those things, it won't be long before you for fighting for gold.


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