It sounds like Chael Sonnen and his manager are going to have to agree to disagree.
Last week, Sonnen's rep Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. told Ariel Helwani for a report on UFC Tonight that Sonnen, one of the biggest money draws in UFC history, would be willing to return to fighting "for the right fight" once his drug suspension is up in July.
Sonnen, though, cast some doubt on that statement recently in an interview with Submission Radio of Australia. "The American Gangster" maintained that he will not be returning and that he did not agree with Roberts' assessment of him coming back for the "right fight."
"The only push back that I would give is that he said for the right fight," Sonnen said. "Man, I'm not a bully. I'm not coming in to fight some dinosaur like Vitor [Belfort] or Rich Franklin. If I come back, I'm gonna whip all their asses. And I'm not coming back, but if I did it wouldn't be for the right fight. I would come back to fight anybody that fought me."
Sonnen, 38, has not fought since losing by first-round TKO to Rashad Evans at UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013. In July 2014, Sonnen was suspended for two years by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) for failing a drug test with a host of performance-enhancing drugs in his system. The test was random and out-of-competition prior to what would have been a fight with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 175.
Sonnen's suspension would be up July 23. At that time, Roberts told Helwani that he thinks his client could be wooed back to the UFC.
"I firmly believe if the right fight and offer come along Chael will jump at the chance to fight again," Roberts said. "He is as competitive as they come."
This is a conversation Sonnen said he and Roberts have often.
"I will tell you this: He does believe that," Sonnen said. "He argues with me all the time and it's very playful. But I always tell him, 'My race is ran and I'm done.' And he says, 'Yeah, I don't believe you. I think you're gonna come back. I know you're in the gym and blah, blah blah.' He is sharing his opinion."
If he did return, there would be no shortage of interesting fights for Sonnen, including a third matchup with long-standing rival Anderson Silva. In the meantime, Sonnen is still keeping himself busy athletically. He'll grapple against UFC contender Michael Bisping, whom he has beaten in MMA, at the UR Fight event Sunday in Phoenix.
"I'll make this really simple for you -- Michael Bisping has no chance," Sonnen told Submission Radio.
Spoken a man who is not truly done with trash talk or competitive sports.