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Manager: Chael Sonnen will 'absolutely' return to MMA in 2016

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Could Chael Sonnen be gearing up for a return to mixed martial arts (MMA)?

"Absolutely," according to his manager, Mike Roberts, as "The American Gangster" seems to have a hole inside him that can only be filled by the competition of fighting.

"My business partner and I have different points of view on this -- if you ask Jeff (Meyer), he will tell you he does not think that Chael will fight again. I absolutely believe Chael will fight again," Roberts told FOX Sports.

Sonnen retired from MMA in June of 2014, a month before he was handed a suspension of two years by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for a failed drug test.

As a result, UFC and FOX Sports cut all ties with Sonnen, including his dismissal as analyst for UFC Tonight.

But Chael landed on his feet, getting a gig as commentator for World Series of Fighting (WSOF), as well as focusing on his ever-popular podcast, "You're Welcome."

Still, Roberts says he isn't content going out from MMA the way he did. Plus, despite staying busy, he still misses fighting.

"I don't think it will sit well with him going out the way that he did," declared Roberts. "The biggest reasons is that Chael is the nicest person you've ever met in your life personally, he's also the most competitive person you've ever met in your life. I know for a fact he misses the competition."

"More than the money, more than anything -- and he makes a lot of money now doing the things he's doing -- but it doesn't quite fill that gap that you get from a competitive fight. I feel like he misses it," stated Roberts of MMA Inc.

"He's constantly calling me to get him some kind of competition, whether it be a wrestling match or a grappling match or whatever," said his manager. "I think at this point he'd do a boxing match just to match his skills with somebody," he added.

With his suspension set to come to an end next year, Roberts says if he had to wager, he'd put his cash on his client coming back to MMA, even in spite of these remarks.

"So to answer your question, if I was a betting man, which I am," Roberts teased, "I think we will see the return of 'The American Gangster' in 2016."

Against who -- and where -- remains to be seen.