It was suggested by Chael Sonnen himself shortly after UFC 136 when he defeated Brian Stann.
“Anderson Silva you absolutely suck. I’m calling you out Silva, but we’re upping the stakes. I beat you, you leave the division. If you beat me, I will leave the UFC forever.”
Of course the offer was later retracted, as Sonnen said that Anderson never accepted the stipulations. Now with two losses against the division kingpin, Chael Sonnen will have an even tougher journey, should he continue pursuing his dream of being a champion. Sonnen’s trainer for the bout, Neil Melanson hints that there may have been some truth to Sonnen’s claims of retirement in a second loss to Silva. Via The Verbal Submission podcast:
“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? You know, I don’t know what Chael’s plans are, but I got a feeling he’s done fighting. 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.”
Sonnen did say in the UFC 148 post-fight press conference that he does plan to continue on in the sport. Whether anything has changed between now and then is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure, Sonnen is not your average ‘character’ in the UFC and will find success in one way or another.
“I never met anyone that had a scenario where it’s like, ‘If I don’t win this then I’m done,’ it never worked out positive for them because, just in my experience, you have to love the grind and if you love the grind, eventually you’ll get what you want because you give up what you need to give up. Apparently Chael had his limit like, ‘This is it, I’ve had enough. If I don’t win this then it’s all not worth it.’ Having lost that, yeah, there’s a very good chance he could pursue other things. He’s a very smart guy, very well spoken. I know, whether he’ll admit to it or not, he has a lot of passion to be a broadcaster of sorts. He seems to excel in any type of speaking arrangement. He loves doing interviews. He loves hyping fights and I’m sure he loves training. He’s a good fighter. He’s a great fighter and he’s an awesome athlete but he can’t fight forever and maybe he’s at a point he’d like to do something else. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong.”
Credit to MMAMania.com for transcribing.