Mike Tyson

UFC legend still resents Mike Tyson over ‘fake rivalry’ with Lennox Lewis

Sonnen has continued his feud with boxing star Tyson branding his former rivalry with Lewis "fake" and claiming that the pay-per-view price of $50 was "stolen" from him and fans

Chael Sonnen has escalated his feud with Mike Tyson by claiming he remains annoyed by his ‘fake rivalry’ with Lennox Lewis.

Sonnen has heavily criticised legendary boxing heavyweight Tyson over a number of issues including his fight with Roy Jones Jr.

Tyson was stopped in the eighth round by Lewis in 2002 with the Briton successfully defending his unified heavyweight titles on a pay-per-view card sold for $50 in the US.

Former UFC star Sonnen has claimed he believes Tyson “stole” the money from fans after Tyson admitted the rivalry was staged for the event’s “promotion”.

“I will tell you, nothing stands out to me more and I have a resentment to it to this day,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel.

Mike Tyson was defeated by Lennox Lewis back in 2002
Mike Tyson was defeated by Lennox Lewis back in 2002 ( Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

” Mike Tyson and I don’t get along – and I don’t know that we have a big beef – but in all fairness, he’d rather not see me and I’d rather not see him. But it all predicates on him stealing $50 from me and all of you.

“He fought Lennox Lewis and he’s a thief for doing it. And then he comes out after the fight, grabs the microphone before he even leaves the ring and says, ‘That was all for promotion, I love this guy.’

“Fair enough, I’m glad that you two worked it out but you defrauded me and the rest of the public out of $50 so give me my money back.”

Sonnen used the comparison of Tyson’s clash with Lewis to preview the upcoming UFC grudge match between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington.

The fight between Tyson and Lewis was originally scheduled for Las Vegas in 2002 but was suspended after the pair brawled at a press conference.

It was later changed to Memphis and was shown by HBO and Showtime in American alongside Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.

Tyson’s clash with Lewis was the highest grossing pay-per-view event in history at the time, generating revenue of $106.9million from 1.95m buys in the U.S.

He was defeated but was awarded a significant payday for the event and was able to shake hands and show signs of respect to Lewis at the end of the fight.

Sonnen has shown signs of hostility to Tyson in the past with his initial harsh comments claiming that his rival Anderson Silva and the heavyweight were “bullies” back in 2012.

The UFC legend also later claimed that Jon Jones could beat Tyson and Muhammad Ali in their primes during a heated defence of MMA.

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