One week ago, UFC light heavyweight Chael Sonnen appeared on The Jim Rome Show on the cable network Showtime. In this installment of the popular sports talk show, Sonnen gave his candid opinions on Miami Heat superstar and four-time MVP LeBron James.
I think LeBron's a dork. He won one world championship, and that was in the Olympic Games. It's so aggravating to hear a title be called a "world champion" when it's only done in America. It's not a global event where the whole world can participate. You didn't win a world title. You won a national title.
To me, the shot at James came out of nowhere. I'd never heard Sonnen mention LeBron's name anywhere. Why was he starting now? Was Chael being Chael, or was there something more to the story?
I had to know, so I connected with Sonnen on Tuesday evening while James was helping guide the Heat to a 103-100 win over the San Antonio Spurs in a thrilling NBA Finals Game 6. What follows is a transcript of our very candid interview.
Bleacher Report: What prompted you to call LeBron James a dork on The Jim Rome Show? Is there any sort of history between the two of you?
Chael Sonnen: His name being brought up prompted it. He makes (Steve) Urkel look cool. I would have liked to call him a twat, but they changed subjects.
Let me tell you a story about LeBron. He asked the UFC for tickets for my fight against Anderson Silva. We sit the guy front row, and all through the night he snubs our fans. He’s a guest in our house and he refuses to sign any autographs or take any pictures unless your cup size was later in the alphabet than he was able to learn.
And from what I understand, he thinks the letter purple comes after "C." This guy walked up to my fiancee backstage and asks her if there’s a Tic Tac in her blouse or if she was just happy to see him.
I had a UFC employee tell me he saw a mother wheel her handicapped child up to him to get a picture. LeBron was walking towards them. When he reached the kid, the mother stopped the wheelchair. LeBron took the wheelchair, wheeled it out of the way and kept walking.
I'd like to slap the divots right off his face.
B/R: You've become a staple of Jim Rome's radio show and now his TV show. Do you ever talk to Jim outside of those times when you're appearing on his program?
CS: Is that his real name? See, I just thought he was doing a Larry Sanders-type thing. I guess that makes it less awkward next time I’m at his show and no longer have to call him "buddy" since his name is, in fact, Jim.
But yes, I have a great relationship with Jim. He calls me when he needs a boost in ratings and needs some buzz around his show. And then I wait for the blank check to arrive.
B/R: You've told me in the past that you don't follow any of the major sports. Is that still true, or have you started watching anything outside of MMA and wrestling?
CS: There’s a few great websites I frequent, but we’ll leave that between me and the NSA.
B/R: You also said that you don't believe the NBA, or any other sporting league that's contested solely in the United States, is truly contesting a world title in their championships. In your mind, which major sports can truly claim to crown a real world champion?
CS: And I’m right. Football, out. Baseball, out. Hockey, out. I don’t even think their champions are recognized in warm weather states, let alone around the world. Basketball, out.
I’ve seen more heart in the kids playing on the cul-de-sac than in the NBA. So where does that leave us?
B/R: You versus LeBron James at UFC 200. Who wins the fight, and how?
CS: He’d run away faster than his hairline. His hair went North, his talents went South, and his mother went West.
B/R: Will we see you challenge LeBron to a fight any time soon?
CS: No challenge. It's happening. Next time I see him he will shake that little boy's hand, even if I have to break his arm off and take it to the boy.
Jeremy Botter is the UFC Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @jeremybotter.