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Chael Sonnen wants option to return to MMA, but isn't sure he will pass recent USADA drug test

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Chael Sonnen, 39, is not walking through that cage door. At least not anytime soon, as the former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight title contender revealed during a recent guest spot on "The MMA Hour." Indeed, even though his suspension is finally over, he has no immediate plans to return to mixed martial arts (MMA).

That’s because he does not have a license to compete in the sport. But, he is apparently taking the necessary steps to possibly return, entering the United States Anti-Doping (USADA) testing pool, which is a four-month process. However, he has yet to receive the results of the first two tests he has submitted.

And he's a bit concerned:

"I don’t have any plans to come back to MMA. Here is where I’m at: I can’t come back to MMA if I wanted because I don’t have a license. My suspension is up and, in theory, I should be able to get a license. Then you have the testing pool. It’s a matter of ... am I even eligible for that? I jumped into the pool, which is a four-month process. I’ve done two tests, but I don’t have the results back. And in full disclosure, I don’t know what they are going to say. I had substances that break down through your liver and your kidney. And if you take substances that breaks down through either of those organs, metabolites can last. So the only way to know if they are gone and you are eligible is to take the test. I took the test, but I don’t have results back. I tell you, I don’t sleep that easy at night. Now, I only have to pass one. If I pass the first one, all the rest should be fine. I just have to know that it’s out. That’s the spot I am in."

To hear Sonnen tell it, his entry into the USADA pool was accidental -- he called to inquire about a dry run to see if some prohibited substances he took were out of his system. And before he knew it, USADA officials were at his door ready to take some samples.

Nevertheless, while he isn't committed to a return, he wants to be able to have the option to do so.

"I’d sure like to have that option. That’s the whole point is to have that option. I believe I’m done with MMA ... and that’s just candidly. But, I don’t have that option, so I am done. I am done unless you can get a license. It’s like anything else, you have to be approved to do it. So, I would like to have the ability to choose."

"American Gangster" -- who has had trouble with banned substances in the past — admits the MMA itch is (and has always been) there since he retired in 2014. But, even though he’s in good physical shape, he has no intention to return to the active fighting scene as a competitor.

At least for now.

Meanwhile, Sonnen will continue with his other ventures outside the cage, which most recently includes promoter for his Submission Underground tournaments. Speaking of which, after a successful debut (details here), Sonnen says another show is in the works for December, which could potentially see him compete against Tim Kennedy.

We'll take what we can get.

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