Yes, another post about Chael Sonnen and his sudden retirement from MMA competition. But I assure you, this one is different.

This one digs a little deeper than what’s being reported on the surface.

First off, any retirement for legitimate health reasons is a worthwhile thing. No one should be stuck in a job that demands more than their body can give, and if Sonnen needed a panoply of drugs to be able to compete with the upper echelon fighters residing in the Octagon, than maybe it was time to go.

But I don’t think he’s truly done. And I’m not alone. Here’s veteran journo Dave Meltzer:

I keep having this lingering thought in my head. One year from now, when UFC is running its 50-plus events a year with nowhere near enough drawing cards to fill the headline positions in the first place. A phone call or text is going to be made.

It’ll either be Dana White calling West Linn, Ore., after a main event injury to a light heavyweight or middleweight in a main event slot, or there’s a major show and an open slot with nobody healthy with a name. Or, more likely, an injury will take place, Sonnen will see the opportunity, and volunteer, as he’s done so many times to step in. There’s the interview about not going out on his own terms the way he wanted to. And he’s clearly going to remain in the public eye as a television presence for the company.

The facts of the Sonnen situation are thus:

  • He was busted for banned substances, and announced his retirement when he was likely going to be suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission anyway.
  • He was stuck in a weird transitional time with TRT, a time when it was legal, then banned abruptly, so of course he (and the rest of the Testosterone Gang) needs a means of weaning himself off the stuff.
  • Sonnen is a great driver of pay-per-views – not so much on his own, but as a foil for others, thereby making him a valuable commodity.
  • Whether it’s fighting or just talking trash to hype a fight, he is REALLY good at what he does. The value of that cannot be understated.

All these facts add up to one thing, and that’s a likelihood that it won’t be the last time we see good ol’ Chael in the cage.

What say you?