Chael Sonnen slams Ian Machado Garry over his UFC 296 withdrawal

By Susan Cox - December 15, 2023

Chael Sonnen is slamming Ian Machado Garry over his UFC 296 withdrawal.

Chael Sonnen, UFC, heavyweight division

It was to be the undefeated Garry (13-0 MMA) versus Vicente Luque (22-9 MMA) in a welterweight bout this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Garry withdrew earlier this week citing a bout with pneumonia.

‘The Future’ did not show up to Wednesday’s media day, but his team advised he would appear at Thursday’s pre-fight press conference. Again, Garry was a no show, assuming it was because he was ill.

Chael Sonnen, speaking to ‘MMA Junkie‘ had this to say about Garry pulling out of the fight:

“I thought that Garry had a lot of pressure on him, and how is he going to deal? He’s always had the crowd eating out of his hand. I was in Boston for example, that crowd went crazy for him and O’Malley – but they went crazy.”

Continuing Sonnen said:

“He was going to have the opposite experience. How is he going to do? Can he handle the boos? Not many people want to be heels because they can’t handle the boos, and I was just curious. It was going to be a very rare test. He was put in an interesting position. I’m disappointed we’re not going to see the fight.”

Ian Machado Garry and Vicente Luque

As far as Chael Sonnen is concerned, it was a missed opportunity, and Ian Garry should have attended the media events even though he would not be fighting tomorrow night:

“I just think there was a few ways to handle that. I think Ian Garry’s got very good advice. He’s clearly had great coaches. Just by example: He’s a handsome guy, he’s well-spoken, he gets the game, his skills are top-shelf. His PR sucks. Not that it’s bad – it sucks. It’s terrible. I only share that because there’s only one thing you can’t do, which is nothing – which is what he did do.”

Concluding Sonnen said:

“He could have showed up to the press conference, sit with a book. He could have set it up and walked out and the book just sits in his spot. He could have gone to the press conference, put a cigar in, put his feet up and read the book at the press conference and ignored the questions completely. He could have done anything but nothing.”

Do you agree with Chael Sonnen that it would have been in Ian Machado Garry’s best interest to show his face in the media even though he pulled out of the match with Luque?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Chael Sonnen Ian Garry UFC