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Chael Sonnen Says Surprise Renzo Gracie Phone Call Forced Him to Step Back

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- Watch below as Chael Sonnen discusses how a surprise phone call from MMA legend Renzo Gracie forced him to step back leading up to his UFC 148 title fight against Anderson Silva, why he hasn't changed since become more famous, Mike Tyson's recent comments about him, his massive weight cut and his thoughts on Silva's behavior at the pre-fight press conference. Update: Gracie told MMAFighting.com what he said to Sonnen. His response is after the jump.



"I just told him that if he kept that trash talking he would be taking the greatness of the task that he had ahead of him," Gracie said. "He is fighting one of the best fighters of our generation, and people would lose the chance to know the real Sonnen, a great athlete who I saw young fighting hard back in the Japan days, building his career as a fierce fighter, a career that ended up turning him into one of the amazing people that populate our great sport.

"I just asked him to behave with the greatness of a champion. Many fighters dream with that opportunity, to fight the best and test themselves in the toughest sport that existed. Be great, be bold, be fair, and above all, be honest. Some will love you, others will hate you, but they will know who you really are. Fight this fight in a way that will be unforgettable to those who had the privilege to watch. I won't miss a second of this great match."