Not everyone was a fan of Chael Sonnen’s pro-wrestling shtick when he was still fighting for the UFC, but no one can deny that it made the “American Gangster” one of the biggest stars in the sport. Whether you loved or hated Sonnen’s self promoting talents, chances are you went out of your way to watch his fights.
Well, according to Sonnen, his gifts prompted World Wrestling Entertainment to make him a sizeable offer. How sizeable? As in big, six figure dollars.
Recently Sonnen had WWE writer John Piermarini on his podcast, “You’re Welcome“, and two reportedly discussed the recent rumors regarding Brock Lesnar, and whether he’ll return to the UFC. Sonnen then went on to claim the following (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“Here’s the nuts and bolts of it: I was offered $5 million by [WWE promoter] Vince McMahon,” Sonnen said. “Now, I was still under contract with the UFC and I never took this to Dana. I handled it on my own. I told [WWE], ‘No’ and that was the end of that. I never told Dana White this story, but here’s why I didn’t tell him. I knew if I called Dana and said, ‘I’ve got a $5 million offer from Vince McMahon,’ Dana would have matched it.”
“Dana would have come close and now all of a sudden I’m not a loyal employee,” said Sonnen. “I’m not loyal to the UFC. I’m shopping them and I’m being loyal to myself. That’s business. That’s how that works and I don’t think anyone would have had hard feelings but I didn’t see myself that way.”
The 37 year-old fighter, who retired earlier this year after flunking two drug tests, added that White can be “cutthroat” went it comes to business,. Sonnen also noted, however, that the promotion often gives raises when there is no other offer forcing them to.
At any rate, one has to wonder what Sonnen’s response would be now, if the WWE came calling?
The former middleweight fighter closed out his career with a first round, stoppage loss to Rashad Evans last November. Following his drug test failures, Sonnen was suspended for two years by the Nevada State Athletic Commisison.