f4wonline.com: Did you consider becoming a professional wrestler?
Chael Sonnen: “Yeah, when I was in college, I didn’t graduate college until 2001, I became an All-American in 1998 and right after that I went out to the WCW, what they had at that time was called a Power Plant and there was a try out, it was an extremely difficult tryout, it was three days and boy it was hard, only two of us made it, me and a gentleman from Jamaica. And we got invited to comeback and I said, “Well, look, I’m going to go finish college,” and they said, “Well, you only have to do tryout, once you get invited the invite’s good for life essentially.’ So, I was going to return after I graduated in 2001, well by then they had shut down, the WCW had folded up and no longer was in existence.”
f4wonline.com: After that failed, did you consider WWE or was MMA the thing you focused on?
Chael Sonnen: “Well, you know, I always wanted to do MMA. I was going to do MMA, you know even if I was going to a wrestling route, I was going to do MMA.”
“I was 20 years old and wrestling seemed like a fun thing to do but I didn’t get any more serious about wrestling than just going to a 3-day tryout. That’s where my career started and stopped.”
f4wonline.com: Is your conversational style during interviews influenced at all by watching pro-wrestling?
Chael Sonnen: “Yeah, I did watch pro-wrestling growing up, I’ve heard that about myself but I don’t think that I have a pro-wrestling style. You know, pro wrestling, you don’t have to touch on realms of reality. You can just say whatever you want. I’ve never done an interview where I didn’t just answer questions in an honest fashion, I’ve never created anything. So, every now and then I hear that about myself, ‘Ah, you sound like a pro-wrestler,’ and I don’t know if that’s a compliment or an insult, I never know how to take it.”
f4wonline.com: What was it like to be in that strange fight against Paulo Filho?
Chael Sonnen: “Yeah, you know it was a different deal, for sure. I mean I got it. As soon as he started doing it, I understood what was going on. I understood, ‘oh, okay, he’s checking out and this is his way of doing it.’ He had asked me at one point in the fight to go to the ground with him and I said ‘No, I can’t do that’ and he said, “no, no submission attempts, just rest, come to the ground, let’s rest’ and I just said again, ‘I can’t’ and just went back to fighting.”
“The company, Zuffa, was very unpleased with it. And I got it, I’m like, yeah that was a weird match but man I did my part, I don’t know what to do, it takes two to tango, there’s only one of us out there.”