Those looking forward to "The Bad Guy" at UFC 200 are going to be severely disappointed.
Chael Sonnen told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he has not been offered a spot on the July 2016 card and, even if he were, he would not take it. Sonnen is doubling down on his retirement -- even when his two-year drug suspension is up next summer.
"I am not coming back," Sonnen said. "I am not putting a toe in the water. I don't know how to speak any more clear."
Sonnen, 38, has not competed since falling to Rashad Evans at UFC 167 in November 2013. He was supposed to fight Wanderlei Silva (and then Vitor Belfort) at UFC 175 in July 2014, but failed multiple drug tests for a slew of performance-enhancing drugs. Sonnen was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission for two years in July 2014. He said the ban is up in June or July, but he it won't matter either way.
Currently, "The American Gangster" has plenty of gigs to keep him busy. He has his own weekly podcast called "You're Welcome," works as an analyst for ESPN and just landed a gig doing commentary for World Series of Fighting. Sonnen, who became a father for the first time in June, also has competed twice in grappling for Metamoris. Outside of combat sports, Sonnen is also doing work for Global Force Wrestling.
That doesn't mean the former UFC middleweight No. 1 contender doesn't jones to get back in the Octagon from time to time.
"Am I getting the itch?" Sonnen said. "Man, I never really lose it. When I go to bed at night, I do still fantasize about that. But I fantasize about a lot of things."
Sonnen (29-14-1) is best known for his rivalry and two fights with Anderson Silva. Not only did he come minutes away from taking the middleweight belt from Silva in 2010, he helped make "The Spider" a bigger star with his unique, trash-talking style of selling fights.
He will surely be missed by fans, but Sonnen never strays too far from the spotlight. He just doesn't think he'll make that walk again.
"I won't be back," Sonnen said.