Chael Sonnen shares his side of Ariel Helwani fiasco: “His opening line to me was a lie”

By Zain Bando - November 8, 2023

Chael Sonnen has responded to Ariel Helwani after the pair argued over the Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou pay-per-view numbers.

Chael Sonnen, Conor McGregor

For context, Sonnen, the former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger came on a recent episode of “The MMA Hour” to discuss Ngannou’s near-victory against the WBC heavyweight champion, plus whether or not Ngannou was the rightful winner in the entire saga.

Sonnen, who has a YouTube channel that reaches a million-plus subscribers, put out a video Tuesday detailing his emotions toward Helwani, a long-time MMA journalist and industry pioneer, over why they argued.

“The whole thing started because he lied,” Chael Sonnen said. “Right? You have to trace it back to who started this. It’s a very important part. It was his opening line [about his report]. His opening line to me was a lie.”

The Wrestling Observers’ Dave Meltzer later confirmed the truth in Sonnen’s claims that the pay-per-view numbers flopped.

“You can give information that is not accurate information,” Sonnen said. “If you believe it to be true, or something slips your memory or you never told it in the first place, you might say something that is wrong. So, Ariel came at me very hard.”

RELATED: Chael Sonnen says it’s time for Francis Ngannou to “wake up” and call Dana White: “Everyday he’s not signed, he’s losing”

Although Sonnen and Helwani have had their disagreements in the past, it was nothing like what transpired in this instance.

Chael Sonnen said he wants to make amends with Helwani when the time is right and still considers him a friend.

”I didn’t know what was going on emotionally or in his personal life,” Sonnen said. “I felt like [the way he acted] wasn’t him. And people are allowed to have a bad moment, so I never spoke about it.”

At press time, Helwani has not responded to Sonnen’s most recent video, but only time will tell.

What are your thoughts on the Chael Sonnen-Ariel Helwani debate? Let us know, Penn Nation!


Ariel Helwani Boxing Chael Sonnen Francis Ngannou Tyson Fury