On August 7, 2010, Chael Sonnen shocked the MMA world when he nearly defeated then-UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 117. Nearly two years later, the rematch finally happened, and, once again, Sonnen, who was in control for the majority of the bout, made a critical mistake that cost him the fight.
After his second loss to Silva, Sonnen moved up to light heavyweight, but he couldn’t find much success there, as he compiled a record of 1-2 in the division, with the two losses being via TKO.
In the summer of 2014, Sonnen tested positive for several banned and performance-enhancing substances, which earned him a two-year suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission, and he retired shortly thereafter.
There have been several questions regarding Sonnen’s MMA future, and one of them is, of course, if he will fight once his suspension comes to an end next month. Several people, including Sonnen’s manager, have suggested that the former middleweight contender will return to the Octagon later this year. However, according to the “American Gangster” himself, he’s had his last fight.
On Monday, Sonnen appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour podcast, and he was asked about the likelihood of him fighting again. While the former UFC star said he has no interest in returning, he did name five people — Georges St. Pierre, Vitor Belfort, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Wanderlei Silva, and Anderson Silva — he would like to fight if he were to make his triumphant return to the UFC.
Sonnen didn’t really reveal why he wanted to fight most of the men he mentioned, but he did reveal exactly why he would want a third fight with Anderson Silva. He told Helwani that the former UFC middleweight champ wasn’t a tough opponent for him, and his two losses to “The Spider” are hard to accept.
“It’d be real hard to not go in and whip Anderson [Silva’s] a** again. Anderson was never a hard fight for me, it was hard to get my hand raised – that son of a b**ch always knew how to get his hand raised. But I’d whip that guy so easily; look, I’ve had three 10-8 rounds [in my career], and they’re all against him. It’s hard to not want that fight.”
Several months ago, a report surfaced that stated Chael Sonnen would return to the UFC for the right fight. However, there are a few things that could possibly get in the way of that, one of which is the UFC’s new drug testing policy and their partnership with the United States Anti-Doping Agency [USADA].
During his appearance on the MMA Hour, Sonnen flexed and talked about his “totally clean” physique, but then he changed the word “totally” to “mostly,” which suggests that he may still be using performance-enhancing drugs. Of course, he may have been poking fun at himself as well.
Sonnen can get four out of the five fights that are on his wishlist if he returns to the UFC, with the Wanderlei Silva fight being the one he wouldn’t be able to get due to the “Axe Murderer’s” new affiliation with rival promotion Bellator MMA.
If Sonnen is returning, he’s keeping it quiet. The fact that he’s calling people out suggests that he will be back inside the Octagon before the end of this year, and he may be looking at being at the UFC’s first-ever New York show this coming November.
As for who his opponent will be, it could very well end up being Anderson Silva, as that fight would be the most appealing of all the possibilities, and it’s the fight that Sonnen will probably push the hardest to get.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]