Several months ago, former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen announced on TSN’s Off The Record that he and fellow former UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva would be meeting with WWE over WrestleMania weekend. Sonnen was at WrestleMania while Silva was not, and he said during an interview with Submission Radio that he and WWE are no longer talking.
“No, I’m no longer talking with WWE because I’m a real fighter. You know, I can’t do pro wrestling. I don’t know. I’ve never done it before, and I don’t know if I’m gonna break the rules.”
Silva and Sonnen weren’t the only two fighters WWE was interested in, as former UFC, Pride, and Bellator fighter Phil Baroni claims that WWE has contacted him. Baroni, 38, tweeted the Sunday before WrestleMania that he was on his way to Santa Clara to sign a developmental deal with WWE.
Even though Baroni claims he’s on his way to WWE, multiple sources claim that he’s “working his own angle” because WWE has no plans to bring him in.
Whether Baroni was ever truly contacted by WWE or not, the fact is that both Silva and Sonnen were, and the plan was to have a UFC invasion storyline take place, or more specifically, an MMA invasion storyline, as WWE doesn’t like to acknowledge the UFC’s existence even though they claim they’re not competition. Some people believe that Ronda Rousey’s appearance at WrestleMania was the beginning of the UFC vs. WWE storyline. However, due to Silva not wanting to do pro wrestling, the storyline has been dropped.
“I’m just here [at ‘WrestleMania’] to visit and see what comes of it, but I haven’t signed any contract if that helps.”
Sonnen, who will turn 38 in two days, said that after he was released from the UFC last year, WWE called him and told him that they had no interest in signing him at all, and the only way they would regain interest is if TNA called him. Sonnen is currently an MMA analyst for ESPN and has his own podcast on PodcastOne called You’re Welcome. So, he’s definitely not desperate to sign with WWE, but it’s expected that the talks between the two are continuing and that WWE will be looking to bring him in at some point.
[Image via Wrestling News]