Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight No. 1 contender Chael Sonnen is not making a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) in late 2016.
Or is he?
That depends on who you ask, though Sonnen did tell The MMA Hour he would run right through the current crop of 185-pound fighters. But in order to lure "The American Gangster" back to the Octagon, it's probably going to take a bona fide "super fight."
MMA Fighting transcribes:
"I would love to kick Georges' ass. I'll tell you this. This is a true story. I got a call one day and it was from Kenny Florian, and he says ‘hey, you want to work out?' I was in L.A. and I said yeah, and he goes, ‘okay, well Georges is in town. Do you want to work out with Georges?' And I said yeah. So we go to this gym. We went hard. I think I could've gone harder, but we went hard, and I came in second. And it drove me nuts, man. It drove me nuts. But I really think I could've done better. It was close. It was fine. If you ask him, he might try to put me over. I'm not trying to put him over right now, I'm just telling you what happened. He won that go, but I could've done better with him, and it's driven me nuts ever since. I thought, man, I could've gotten that guy. I could've done better. He knew he got the best of me. So at the end of the workout, he tried to pay me a compliment. He goes, ‘thanks for not using your size; if you would've used your size, you really could've crushed me,' which was really his way of saying, ‘hey man, I just beat you.' And I knew what he meant, and I knew it was meant to be a nice thing. It stuck with me, man. This is a workout that was years ago and it stuck with me."
Trying to get St-Pierre back to MMA is a tall order in its own right.
Despite a couple of high-profile losses to Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, the grappling promoter holds some pretty impressive wins inside the Octagon, including finishes over Brian Stann and Mauricio Rua, as well as a unanimous decision against Michael Bisping.
Sonnen's fight-game suspension ends in just a few months... return imminent?