Former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen has been on a roller coaster ride over the past several months, having failed multiple drug tests that led to his exit from the UFC and his dismissal as a broadcaster for FOX.
So maybe, just maybe, if the $5 million offer he says he received from the WWE was for real, he should have taken it.
sonnenDuring a recent edition of his new podcast, You’re Welcome! With Chael Sonnen, the former fighter relayed a story, saying that he received a multi-million-dollar offer from WWE head honcho Vince McMahon.
“Here’s the nuts and bolts of it: I was offered $5 million by [WWE promoter] Vince McMahon. Now, I was still under contract with the UFC and I never took this to Dana. I handled it on my own. I told [WWE], ‘No,’ and that was the end of that,” he said.
“I never told Dana White this story, but here’s why I didn’t tell him. I knew if I called Dana and said, ‘I’ve got a $5 million offer from Vince McMahon,’ Dana would have matched it. Dana would have come close and now all of a sudden I’m not a loyal employee. I’m not loyal to the UFC. I’m shopping them and I’m being loyal to myself. That’s business. That’s how that works and I don’t think anyone would have had hard feelings, but I didn’t see myself that way.”
That offer apparently no longer stands, although the WWE maintains some interest in Sonnen.
There were rumors after he was handed a two-year suspension over the summer that Sonnen might be headed to professional wrestling. He wasn’t ever headed that direction, but he did get a call from a WWE executive.
“I got a call about two days after I was suspended. WWE executive calls me up, and he says, ‘We read what you’re going through, and we just want you to know, we’re not interested,’” Sonnen said on pro wrestler Chris Jericho’s podcast in August.
“’Well, why did you call me?’ This is what I’m thinking,” he continued. “He goes ‘Listen, if you were 24 years old, you’d be making a whole jackpot full of money, but at your age, we just don’t want you. But we think TNA is gonna be calling you and if they do, then we want back in the game.’ So I was like, okay, at least I get why you called.”
Apparently, TNA must not have made the call, as Sonnen has yet to reveal that he is an employee of either wrestling promotion.