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Chael Sonnen Criticizes Ian Machado Garry's UFC 296 Withdrawal

Chael Sonnen is not holding back in his critique of Ian Machado Garry following Garry's withdrawal from UFC 296. The undefeated Garry (13-0 MMA) was slated to face Vicente Luque (22-9 MMA) in a welterweight bout this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas but pulled out earlier this week due to a bout with pneumonia.

Despite assurances from Garry's team that he would attend Thursday's pre-fight press conference after missing Wednesday's media day, Garry was once again a no-show, presumably due to his illness.

Chael Sonnen, expressed his disappointment with Garry's decision to withdraw and his absence from media events, stating, "I’m disappointed we’re not going to see the fight." Sonnen speculated on the pressure Garry might have felt, especially considering the shift from being a crowd favorite to potentially facing boos.

"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," remarked Sonnen.

He went on to question Garry's approach to handling the situation, emphasizing that facing adversity, such as boos, is an essential aspect of a fighter's career.

Sonnen suggested that Garry missed an opportunity to manage the situation better, saying, "I just think there was a few ways to handle that."

He criticized Garry's public relations strategy, describing it as lacking and suggesting alternative ways Garry could have engaged with the media despite not participating in the upcoming fight.

Concluding his thoughts, Sonnen noted, "He could have done anything but nothing." The criticism raises the question of whether Garry's decision to skip media events was a missed opportunity, and Sonnen leaves it to the audience to decide whether Garry should have made an appearance despite his withdrawal from the match with Luque.


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