Following two-year suspension, Chael Sonnen says he has “itch” to return to UFC, but needs to pass USADA test first

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Chael Sonnen (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

“I definitely have that itch. I fantasize about it. But it’s one step at a time. I’m not holding back from you. I’m not acting like my return is some kind of breaking news. I’d tell it to you right now. But I have to pass this first test, quite frankly. It’s still out there. I’ve gotta pass it. If I pass that, I’ll pass all of them. But I have to know that everything is out. Boom, step one down. Step two, get in shape, get ready to go — I’m there. I’m in shape, I’m ready to go. Step three, be the baddest dude in the world. C’mon, Ariel. C’mon, buddy. I dominated — this is just a fact. I dominated middleweight. There has never been a middleweight like me. The next closest guy is Anderson Silva. I’ve got two 10-8 rounds against Anderson Silva. That’s just the truth. I have no equal at middleweight… I’d sure like to have that option [to return]. That’s the whole point is to have that option. I believe that I’m done with MMA and that’s just candidly. But I don’t have that option. I am done. I am done unless you can get a license. It’s like anything else. You’ve gotta be approved to do it. So, I would like to have the ability to choose.”

-Chael Sonnen talks to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour about a potential return to MMA with his suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission now concluded.

Penick’s Analysis: Sonnen’s still pretty much unapologetic for his years of PED use, believing he simply took advantage of a system “others” abused. Still, the two years is up, and if he’s off whatever he was on before and can get licensed, the UFC will book him again. There’s a segment of the fan base that would definitely want to see it happen, and another who were over Sonnen’s shtick four years ago. Regardless, people will tune in if he fights again, and that’s all the UFC is going to care about.

[Chael Sonnen art by Grant Gould (c)]

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