“It Was All a Lie Right There in Front of the World”- Despite Earning a Whopping $35 Million Purse, Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis Gets Labelled as “Fraud” by UFC Legend

Published 05/30/2023, 2:03 PM EDT

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If there’s something spicy cooking in the MMA scene, you can expect UFC legend Chael Sonnen to talk about it. In one of his recent YouTube videos, the former UFC Light Heavyweight took his time to praise the ‘Stylebender’ Israel Adesanya. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The veteran also made stark comments on another evergreen hot topic – the legendary boxing bout between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis.

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Speaking of the iconic boxing match, he also spilled the beans on why he thinks it was a ‘fraud’. Sonnen reasoned that though the fight generated a staggering $35 million, it was knitted by deceit and lies. But how could a lied-about fight generate such a huge purse? No one knows for sure. But Sonnen has a lot to say!

Chael Sonnen’s logic for the ‘fraud’ Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis fight


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In a recent episode of ‘Beyond the Fight’, Chael Sonnen, the ‘Bad Guy’ of the UFC, shared his thoughts on the world of UFC and MMA, including his views on the controversial Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis fight.

Sonnen said, “And the only reason it upset me is all of the things that went into it – including a Commission hearing where Tyson was sworn under oath and he took it all back – took it all back. It was all a lie right there- in front of the world, and [Tyson] said – ‘I love this man’…”


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The fight upset Sonnen because of the deceit surrounding it. Pre-fight, Tyson had gone through a Commission hearing where he swore under oath, only to retract his statements later. Sonnen felt that the whole episode was a ‘lie’ presented to the world.

“I really thought that was an underhanded thing to do. It was meant out of sportsmanship man! Mike was just trying to bury the hatchet.”

Tyson’s proclamation of love for Lewis was probably just supposed to bury the hatchet, but turned into a ‘promotional stunt’. Sonnen seemed stern in his belief that this was morally wrong.

Sonnen’s verdict on the fight – A lie for the sake of a grudge

Prior to delving into discussing the fight, Sonnen was talking about ‘grudges’. Yes, you heard it right – and that too, while praising ‘Izzy’. The UFC legend labeled Adesanya as the guy who understands the ‘grudge.’

“Then you have a guy like Adesanya that knows – he understands the ‘grudge’, guys. But there has to be an honor to a grudge…there really does, and it can be self-serving.”

And this connects back to the Tyson vs Lewis match as well. Why? Well, according to Sonnen, the fight was never sold or marketed based on the fighters’ skills or their powerful punches. Instead, it was all about a supposed grudge that Tyson now claimed ‘didn’t even exist’.


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Comparing Israel Adesanya and Mike Tyson, UFC Legend Points Out One Fact That Makes the UFC Champ a ‘Great’ – “That’s a Very Different…”

Sonnen expressed his disappointment, stating that he found it lacking sportsmanship. He believed that Tyson should have refunded the spectators who paid to watch the fight.

“I watched one that really upset me. It was Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis… This fight did not sell, nor did you even try to sell it based on left and right hands. It was completely about a grudge that you’re[Tyson] now telling us didn’t exist…”


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Sonnen’s candid commentary reminds fans that the sport we love may not always be as pure as we hope, and we must stay vigilant in our pursuit of the truth. Do you agree? Share your thoughts below!

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Written by:

Ashish Tiwari


One take at a time

Ashish is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. With an unwavering love for the sport, he immerses himself in the thrilling world of MMA, capturing the essence of each high-octane fight and delving into the intricacies of a fighter's strategy. His in-depth knowledge and analytical approach enable him to provide unique insights into the sport.
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Edited by:

Debmallya Chakraborty




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