“I HAD ONE PIECE OF CONTACT WITH THE WWE IN TERMS OF DOING BUSINESS AND IT WAS RIGHT BEFORE I FOUGHT ANDERSON SILVA [THE FIRST TIME].
THE OFFER WAS…AND PLEASE DON’T ASK WHO MADE IT, I’M SURE YOU’LL KNOW BUT…YOU NO SHOW, NO CALL THAT EVENT. YOU CAN’T SHOW UP TO THE ANDERSON FIGHT AND YOU CAN’T WARN THE UFC AND WE’LL WIRE YOU A MILLION DOLLARS RIGHT NOW.
THE OTHER PART OF THE OFFER, YOU BEAT ANDERSON SILVA, YOU SHOW UP ON RAW, MONDAY NIGHT WITH THEIR BELT…WE’LL GIVE YOU FIVE MILLION DOLLARS. BUT I HAD TO GIVE MY ANSWER RIGHT THEN, NOTHING IN WRITING, NOTHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, THEY WOULD WIRE THE MONEY AND THAT WAS THAT AND I COULD NOT WARN DANA WHITE. I ACTUALLY DIDN’T EVEN TELL DANA ABOUT THAT, I HANDLED THAT MYSELF.”
Anyone who knows ‘The American Gangster’ Chael Sonnen knows that he was the true originator of being able to sell a fight with trash talk in MMA and pushing it to the next level. In fact, he was so good at it that the company that does pretty much just that, the WWE, offered him a deal.
Now, he obviously didn’t accept this deal as he continued to fight in the UFC for another three years after the offer.
Seeing how the WWE has since snatched up Ronda Rousey and several other former MMA fighters including all three of Rousey’s primary training partners when was a fighter, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Maryna Shafir, it’s no surprise that they could have wanted to get a jump on MMA talent crossing over prior to it doing so eight years later.
Of course, the first real example of a big name MMA fighter doing professional wrestling for the biggest wrestling company in the world was Ken Shamrock back in the late ’90s.
Sonnen is definitely a man with no regrets, but it makes you wonder how he feels about declining the offer in hindsight.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 6/7/2018.