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Chael Sonnen has always had a knack for promoting fights. One of the best trash-talkers of all time, he continues to generate interest in combat sports even in retirement.

Sonnen recently released a video on his YouTube channel breaking down the UFC lightweight division. He raised an interesting point about the upcoming Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler bout. The former lightweight title challengers will compete at UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 12.

Chael Sonnen on cross-promotion between UFC and Bellator

During this video, ‘The Bad Guy’ mentioned that Poirier vs. Chandler is as close as fans will get to seeing a UFC-Bellator cross-promotion matchup:

“These two [Poirier and Chandler] are going to go fight. These two were number-one contenders in the last calendar year. These two- through different organizations- have both held world titles. You want to talk about a co-promote, I’ve heard about co-promotes for years. This is as close as you’re going to get. The [former] UFC champion is going to fight the [former] Bellator champion.”

For years, ‘Iron’ was the face of Bellator MMA and was regarded as one the greatest fighters to compete in the promotion. During his tenure at Bellator, Chandler was a three-time lightweight champion and had wins against the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Benson Henderson, and reigning Bellator lightweight champion Patricky Freire.

Meanwhile, ‘The Diamond’ has been very successful in the UFC. Since moving to lightweight from featherweight in 2015, Poirier has had plenty of success. In 2019, he defeated then-featherweight champion Max Holloway to become interim lightweight champion.

In addition, ‘The Diamond’ has defeated former champions such as Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and Conor McGregor.

Cross-promotion in MMA?

𝒲𝒽𝑜 will it be? 👀So far we’re sending a current champ and 3 former champs to Japan for #BellatorVsRizin.Who do you want to see in that 5th spot?

Although Sonnen alluded to a UFC vs. Bellator cross-promotion, it doesn’t seem to be the UFC’s business model. However, cross-promotion between other MMA organizations does exist.

On December 31, Bellator and RIZIN will host a massive cross-promotion event at the famous Saitama Super Arena in Japan. The card will see some of the top fighters from each promotion compete against each other for bragging rights.

So far, four fights have been announced and a fifth will be revealed at a later date. The bouts include Bellator featherweight champion Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire vs. RIZIN featherweight champion Kleber Koike, A.J. McKee vs. RIZIN lightweight champion Roberto de Souza, Juan Archuleta vs. Soo Chul Kim, and RIZIN bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo.

Check out the full video:


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