Former UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen — who many people believed would end up in WWE after he retired from the UFC last summer — revealed on his podcast that he will be attending the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and WrestleMania. During his appearance on TSN’s Off the Record, Sonnen was asked to elaborate on why he’s attending, and he revealed that he is, in fact, heading to WrestleMania to talk business with WWE.
“Look I got a call [from WWE], they said ‘Look, we’ve got a ‘WrestleMania,’ we’ve got a Hall of Fame show coming up in March, if you want to come out, come on out because we want to talk to you about some stuff.’ They laid it out like that. They’re buying me a plane ticket, they’re giving me a great seat at the show, I do enjoy that product.”
Sonnen — who claimed several months ago that WWE offered him a $5 million contract before he retired from the UFC — said that he doesn’t know exactly what WWE wants to talk to him about, but he did say that there’s another UFC legend and a longtime rival of his that WWE is looking to bring in as well.
“I don’t know what we’re talking about, but I’ll give you a little bit of a scoop — Wanderlei Silva was also invited. I don’t know if he’s accepted, and I don’t know if the two are related. But there you go.”
Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen were scheduled to fight each other last summer, but after Silva famously ran away from a random drug test and Sonnen failed two separate random drug tests, the fight was scrapped. Sonnen received a multi-year suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission and was released from his UFC contract. Silva — on the other hand — received a lifetime ban from the Nevada Athletic Commission but has not yet been released from his UFC contract.
There have been reports that Silva is in talks with IGF in Japan and may end up signing with them if the UFC releases him from his contract. Silva hasn’t had a lot of nice things to say about the UFC as of late, so there is a bit of speculation that the UFC will keep him under contract to prevent him from doing anything else, because they won’t be in the mood to do him any favors in the near future.
Sonnen, who will turn 38 almost immediately after WrestleMania, may be looked at as too old to become a regular in-ring competitor by WWE, as they don’t feel like he’ll get a proper grasp on how to work in the ring until he’s 40. But Sonnen does have the gift of gab, and WWE may be interested in Sonnen as a commentator.
There’s also speculation that WWE may be looking to set up a match between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen, but there are concerns that the match won’t be much of a draw in the pro wrestling world. Due to the fact they don’t know how to properly work a match, it’s unlikely that WWE would have them face off in the squared circle.
[Image via Crave Online]