Chael Sonnen has been on the MMA sidelines for nearly two years. Those two years represent a 24-month suspension he was handed by the Nevada Athletic Commission after testing positive for banned substances on two random drug tests prior to a proposed UFC bout with Wanderlei Silva.
The suspension was retroactive to his June test, putting Sonnen in a position to possibly be reinstated by the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s next monster event, UFC 200, which is slated for July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas.
But don’t expect Sonnen to be making his return to fighting on the card… actually, don’t expect him to be returning to mixed martial arts on any fight card, period. At this point in time, Sonnen says he is done. Fini. Kaput.
“I am not coming back. I am not putting a toe in the water. I don’t know how to be any more clear,” Sonnen said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour.
Sonnen has said in the past that when he retired amidst the controversy that swirled around him over his banned substance transgressions that it was permanent. He has since become an ESPN analyst, started a successful podcast, and been hired as a commentator for Global Force Wrestling and World Series of Fighting, among other endeavors. So he’s not hurting for job opportunities.
But any speculation that he might try to return at UFC 200 or thereafter are unfounded.
“I haven’t been offered any fight for UFC 200. I’m suspended somewhere real close to there, so I don’t think that’s realistic anyway,” he said.
“(Am) I getting the itch (to fight)? Man, I never really lose it. When I go to bed at night, I do still fantasize about that. But I fantasize about a lot of things.”
Sonnen has helped scratch the itch by competing in professional grappling under the Metamoris banner, but he is adamant that he won’t return to MMA, and Sonnen, despite any of his past transgressions, is generally known to tell it like it is.
“I don’t want to say anything that comes off as an excuse, because I’m guilty. I’m ashamed,” said Sonnen during his NAC disciplinary hearing.
So when Sonnen says, “I won’t be back,” it’s not likely that we’ll ever see him in the cage again.