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Chael Sonnen believes that there’ve been a handful of media favorites in the UFC. And Khamzat Chimaev, is certainly one of them. According to the popular MMA analyst, Chimaev is one of the poster boys of the company alongside Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. In his latest episode of Beyond the Fight, Sonnen talks about the three “media darlings” of the UFC and the order in which he believes they stand.

While exploring the behind-the-scenes of the upcoming Khamzat Chimaev vs. Paulo Costa fight, he also talks about a sudden lack of information and silence surrounding Chimaev in recent times. But what could be the reason behind his rapid surge in significance and the abrupt silence?

Chael Sonnen’s Perspective: Khamzat Chimaev – close on the heels of Conor McGregor

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The 46-year-old former fighter stated that there are three media favorites in the history of UFC – Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and Khamzat Chimaev. He added in his YouTube video, “There are three media darlings in the history of the company. In history, there are three, probably in this order: Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and Khamzat Chimaev”. Diving deep into the topic, he added that there were attempts to create a fourth media darling with Brock Lesnar, but it did not materialize.

Read more: Khamzat Chimaev Reveals the Mystery Behind “Smash Everybody” Catchphrase in the UFC

Brock Lesnar fought against Frank Mir in 2009 in a redemption clash to avenge his loss against the same fighter. The bout was the most-watched event in the UFC’s history at that time, with 1,6000,000 PPVs. However, ‘The American Gangster’ added, ” If you want to argue about the order, go ahead, but it’s those three. There was an attempt to have a fourth in Brock Lesnar, but Brock had to meet him halfway, and he didn’t do it. I mean, I’m just sharing this with you. In the history of the company, there have only been three that the media were captivated by”.

Sonnen, in the conversation, added that Chimaev enjoyed the spotlight for quite some time and was one of the few individuals in history who had significant media attention on him. However, he stated that the limelight on Chimaev had dropped drastically. Delving deeper into the conversation, Sonnen further explored how, despite garnering significant media attention, there is now almost silence surrounding Chimaev.

Khamzat Chimaev’s story from media spotlight to radio silence

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Sonnen points out that while one can find information about Chimaev here and there, it is not what it used to be. According to him, despite previously being a highly talked-about fighter, there is now very little news regarding Khamzat Chimaev. “You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about Chimaev. All of a sudden it’s radio silence and I get that, that’s not literal, I get that you can find Chimaev’s stuff but it’s certainly not like it used to be “, he added

Sonnen did not have an answer for the sudden change in the media landscape. He did think out loud – “Is Chimaev not returning those phone calls? Did he lose interest? Is that not what he’s doing anymore? I don’t know about that man!” However, he emphasizes how Chimaev has never been one to shy away from the spotlight, adding, “Pretty damn good at media. I think he enjoys it”

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Sonnen’s analysis highlights Khamzat Chimaev’s prominence in the media alongside UFC legends Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, followed by a noticeable decline in attention.  However, what underscores this downward trend is a matter of debate.

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Watch this story: Avoiding the Risk of UFC 294 Falling Apart, Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa Fight in Need of One Aspect Due to Major Issues in the Past