It's no secret that Chael Sonnen's style as a pitchman has its roots in pro wrestling hype.
Still, the retired/suspended former UFC contender was surprised to field a phone call from an unnamed World Wrestling Entertainment bigwig in the midst of all his recent troubles.
"I got a call about two days before I was suspended," Sonnen said on the "Talk is Jericho" podcast. "A WWE exec calls me up, and he said, ‘We read what you're going through, we're not interested.' So I'm thinking, ‘why did you call me?' He said ‘If you were 24 years old, you'd be making a whole jackpot full of money ... but we think [rival wrestling promotion] TNA is going to be calling you and if they do, we want back in the game.' So I was like, OK, now at least I get we're you're coming from."
The ultimate point for Sonnen is that there are still potential opportunities in the life of a suspended fighter. For one, there was Metamoris 4 last weekend in Los Angeles, when Sonnen competed against decorated jiu-jitsu player Andre Galvao. But not before a period of back-and-forth with the Nevada Athletic Commission about whether doing so would violate the terms of his two-year suspension.
Sonnen gave his side of the story on the podcast.
"I had gotten a letter from the commission which said ‘hey, we heard you were fighting next week. You're not allowed to do that,'" Sonnen said. "And so I just let them know, you heard wrong, I'm getting involved in an event we're going to do some grappling, and if you have a problem with that, let me know, we won't do it.
"We never heard back from them," Sonnen continued. "We think they just had some bad info, they heard we were fighting. They're not totally wrong there. [Some people], particularly Brazilians, will call it a fight. I come from a wrestling background, I call it a match. If Brazilians see it they'll call it a fight. This was promoted by some guys from Brazil, and they do use that word sometimes, so the commission got some info, they acted on that."
Sonnen admitted to one more ambition while he's on the sidelines, one he doesn't deny is farfetched: A run at making the U.S. Olympic wrestling team.
"I've got fantasies of trying to make an Olympic team, I tried back in 2000 and didn't make it. I'm not going to make it in 2016. But I think that it would give me a good reason to set a goal, a good reason to stay in shape, and those are my friends, that's how I socialize with people."
Regardless, while Sonnen might not step in the Octagon again any time soon, if ever, it's clear he's going to stay in the spotlight in some shape or form.