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Chael Sonnen’s trainer says fighter could be done competing inside the Octagon

Chael Sonnen issued an interesting stipulation to Anderson Silva several months ago. In it, Sonnen said if he failed to defeat Silva for the UFC middleweight title, he would walk away from fighting.

Despite Sonnen taking the stipulation off the table after Silva failed to immediately accept, at least one member of Sonnen’s camp feels he will still hold up his end of the deal after falling by strikes to Silva at UFC 148.

Neil Melanson, a grappling coach at Xtreme Couture who took over as Sonnen’s head trainer after Scott McQuary went down with a heart attack, said he feels like that second encounter with “The Spider” was it for Sonnen.

“I don’t know what Chael’s plans are, but I got a feeling he’s done fighting,” said Melanson, while appearing on the The Verbal Submission recently. “I don’t know. I’ve just got a feeling he’s done. Maybe I’m wrong.”

Sonnen didn’t act as if he was going to retire, making no such mention of it during the post-fight press conference. It remains to be seen where the outspoken middleweight will go from here after his quest to become champion was denied by Silva.


  • THEGUNNER says:

    Im thinking franklin was feeling the same way after the first fight.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    I don’t think Sonnen is done… the money just started getting good the last 2 years.
    I’m sure with all his legal issues in the past, he probably needs to rebuild that retirement fund a bit.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    The thing is, nobody has ever given a crap about Chael Sonnen unless it’s involved Anderson Silva. So now that he’s milked the last drop from that cash cow, I tend to agree with his grappling coach that it’s hard to imagine him sticking around to fight.

    Chael is a guy who probably maximized every ounce of potential he had, both competitively and financially. Thru his first 30 pro fights, his best wins were over guys like Prangley that the vast majority of Saturday night’s audience has never heard of, and he had already been cut once from the UFC.

    But he kept on grinding, started using TRT somewhere in his 30s (which may or may not have been a big factor in, and picked up a couple of big wins over guys like Marquardt & Okami. All of a sudden he was calling out the greatest fighter of all time and about two years (and 2 championship fights) later he’s garnered huge popularity and huge $$ that would otherwise have been impossible without latching on to Anderson’s teet. He literally could not have played things any better, IMO.

    I think if he’s smart he’d give up fighting now and use his current popularity to parlay it into some type of TV gig. If he sticks around for a few more unspectacular fights, his popularity will fade just about as fast as it grew, and then the post-fight jobs in the fight game with dry up along with it. Timing is everything, and up till now Chael has shown a great ability to recognize that.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    If chael retires I’d like to see him doing a commentators gig type thing like he does on that post fight show sometimes, can’t remember the name of it right now.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Yep, Chael is a natural fit for a TV role. He’s smart, engaging with a combination of humor & quick wit… with plenty of experience in the fight game.

    He’s so good at talking that he convinced a ton of people that he’s a much better fighter than he actually is, and that’s the part that always bugged me, but beyond that he’s a likeable dude. I just think he’d be more entertaining as a talking head than in the cage from here on out.

    And he’ll never be as popular as he is now, so to me it makes sense to strike while the iron is hot for his next career path.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I’d rather hear Chael talk to himself than the entire Strikeforce broadcast team.

    Just my 2¢

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    Pat isn’t so bad I don’t think. Now shamrock..well

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Pat’s best moments are when he smack-talks Frank.

    “Oh, so you’re a rules guy now, huh Frank?”


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