Management Team Sticks by Both Sonnen & Munoz

December 4, 2011
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Chael Sonnen, Mike Roberts & Mark Munoz
Everyone has heard the age-old argument of teammate vs. teammate in MMA.

Add to the mix the phenomenon of fighters under the same management team facing off with one another. It’s a somewhat unspoken ideal that most managers will go out of their way to try and avoid one fighter on their roster facing off with another.

While it has happened before, some past situations have even caused fighters to change or leave managers, or vice versa when it comes up.

Monte Cox, who previously managed former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes, famously had issues representing him andfellow 170-pound fighter Sean Sherk because the two were both at the top of the division and Cox didn’t want to get caught in the middle when or if they had to square off.

With the announcement of the UFC on Fox 2 co-main event between Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz, management is once again caught in the middle, but things are playing out much more diplomatically this time around.

While Sonnen and Munoz don’t train together, they are both managed under the MMA Incorporated banner by CEO Jeff Meyer and COO Mike Roberts. Meyer and Roberts represent several high profile fighters including UFC bantamweight Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez, Chad Mendes, and of course Sonnen and Munoz.

Now that their clients are set to square off in a fight that will determine the next challenger to Anderson Silva’s middleweight title, they are steadfast in supporting both fighters and, as cliché as it sounds, treating this fight as business as usual.

“Today, the UFC announced that two of our represented athletes, Chael Sonnen and Mark Muñoz, will compete against each other at the UFC on FOX show in January. Our agency represents many top contenders in the UFC. The likelihood that two of our athletes’ career paths would collide has always been a possibility and has now become a business reality,” said CEO Jeff Meyer in a release sent to MMAWeekly.com.

“While we personally take no joy in our clients fighting each other, our over-riding obligation is to assist our clients with the advancement of their respective careers. The UFC on FOX show presents an amazing opportunity for both Mark and Chael to compete on the biggest stage in mixed martial arts as well as gain exposure to millions of additional fans.”

Unlike any past situations where fighters have literally had a break-up with a management team over a situation like that, Sonnen and Munoz will be sticking with their team at MMA Inc., and the team at MMA Inc. is sticking by them.

“Mark and Chael are part of the MMA Incorporated family and will remain so long after this bout,” said Meyer. “Throughout their respective camps, and ultimately the fight, we will continue to serve both men with the same dedication and attention to detail that we have provided each of them over the past several years. We wish both Mark and Chael the best of luck in what is sure to be an amazing fight.”

Nothing will change for either fighter in regards to their management team heading into the fight, although asking Meyer or Roberts who they think will win might remain a bit of a sticky subject.

Sonnen and Munoz square off on Jan. 28 at UFC on Fox 2 in Chicago.


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  • adice89

    Honestly I dont want to see either guy fight Anderson Silva but if I had to go with one it would be Chael Sonnen, ive never been a fan of Mark Munoz and I will be rooting for Sonnen to win this fight. Munoz never really impressed me. Yeah he beat Chris Leben, who is by far one of the sloppiest fighters in the UFC. Seriously Leben has hardly any skill, all he can do is throw bombs and hope they connect. Skill wise there arent anybody at 185 that can touch Anderson Silva. Munoz wrestling isnt better than sonnen and his striking is really not that great. Anybody remember him gettin knocked out by Matt Hammil?

    • phrankthetank

      I agree that leben isn’t the most technical fighter, but to say that he has no skill is just ridiculous, you don’t have as many fights as he does in the UFC without possessing some skill. Also, while I have never been a huge Munoz fan, he has evolved considerably over his last few fights. I still think sonnen takes this one, but I expect a very good fight.

      • MrAdidas

        True!

    • LAW OF FIST

      Hamil did ko him, but that was many moons ago and at a higher weight class. pretty disrespectful to say Leban has hardly any skill,the guy has wins by sub and has beaten alot of tough guys. i agree that Munoz wrestling isnt better than Sonnen’s, but who r we to say? i know Munoz holds a victory over Sonnen in a wrestling match. Munoz stand up isnt the best but he does have big power so anyone that fights him better be aware.

      • MrAdidas

        Also, true!

  • MikeMc1983

    I’m curious why you guys have come to the conclusion that sonnen has better wrestling? I know that I don’t know for sure that mark is better, but I do know that mark is always really sought after to come to gyms to teach others. I know teaching can be different than performing, but I would think that Munoz would get the benifeit of the doubt on that matchup. I would gamble that if they had a wrestling match that Munoz would be at least a -200 favorite.
    I will say sonnen is more gung ho in his wrestling style. He bum rushes people quite a bit. That makes it pretty effective in mma, but I’m not sure if he rushes people that are not too strong in the wrestling department. I’ll be curious to see if he rushes mark, where good technique could make him look silly rushing in.

    • MrAdidas

      I’m not sure hwo has the better wrestling b\c they dont “wrestle” anymore, but who has the better wrestling WITH MMA – then (IMHO) I would have to pick Sonnen as a better MMA fighter. I’d like to see Munoz (sorry for no sgiggaly sign over the n – not sure how to do it on my computer) fight Anderson, just b\c he has great wrestling, (something Silva has ALWAYS had troubles with) & Munoz has ALOT of power in his GnP, if Munoz ever got Silva to the ground (which I know for a fact he could – the question is… how long can he keep him there?) I believe Silva would be in trouble if he were on his back for any lengthy period of time, b\c Munoz has cement blocks for fists & he’s not afraid to use them. Silva took a beating from Sonnen, but I doubt Silva could take the same kind of beating if it were Munoz throwing those bombs at Silva’s face. But, Sonnen we all know (Silva included) can & will take Silva down at will if\when they fight again, and after seing Sonnen EMBARESS Stann the way he did, I honestly believe Silva is in a shit load of trouble & I think Silva knows it to. I also do not think Silva is as hurt as he says he is, but I dont think he’s ducking Sonnen, I think Silva needs\wants more than the avg 3 months to train, I think he knows he needs another 5-6 months of training & working off his back b\c that’s where Silva is going to have to make himself comfortable…. learning to fight for 15-20 mins off of your back & NOT take so much many punches to the face. (I know Sonnen does’nt hit overly hard, but they add up over time)

  • TSPakaTony

    Munoz’s wrestling isn’t as good as sonnen’s?? Munoz has a victory over sonnen in a wrestling match! I still see this fight as interesting though because the match up well, both have very good g+p but I think munoz shades wrestling but sonnen shades stand up. Tbh all I care about us Philip davis smashing rashads face to bits :-) hope u all agree on that one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000480745838 Raijin559

    I think over time that Chael Sonnens wrestling has surpassed Munoz’s. It may come down to shear size difference. Chael Sonnen being slighly bigger, that is.

  • phrankthetank

    Munoz is a better straight wrestler, but in applying wrestling to mma, sonnen has the advantage. That being said, Munoz has been rapidly bringing his game together, who knows how much more he will have evolved by the time these two fight.