After failing in his second attempt to wrestle the middleweight title away from Brazilian legend Anderson Silva, many are now wondering what Chael Sonnen’s future now holds.
Speaking at the UFC 148 press-conference Sonnen’s comments on the matter indicated that he hadn’t ruled out the possibility of retiring from the sport.
“I really believe if you’re in this company and you’re going to take up a spot you gotta be chasing the championship. There’s plenty of young guys that can come in and get their opportunity. I had my chance and then I got it again, and I’m not going to ask for anything. I’m grateful for it. I’ll make those decisions later, but I will not hang around, not for one day to blend in.”
The statement is certainly open to interpretation, but adding weight to the rumor that Sonnen is seriously considering hanging up his gloves is the fact that post-fight his grappling coach Meil Melanson stated his belief that the 35 year-old may be ready to call time on his career.
“You know, I don’t know what Chael’s plans are, but I got a feeling he’s done fighting,” Melanson stated on The Verbal Submission radio show.
“Any time you’re a part of training camp or you’re friends with somebody and they lose, you just worry about them like, how are they gonna handle it mentally? Are they gonna come back from this?…I don’t know, I’ve just got a feeling he’s done. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he was serious when he said, ‘If you beat me, I will leave forever,’ and there’s a very good chance of that.”
It’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that he could retire, but I suspect that the UFC will want to keep him around for a while longer. Despite this latest loss he’s developed into a big star for them and coming off one of the biggest fights in the promotion’s history there’s still a lot of mileage left in him.