Sonnen: I’m not retiring. I’m 36 years old. I have a lot of goals

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Tonight Chael Sonnen made his triumphant return to UFC Tonight as an analyst and wasted no time in addressing what his future plans are:

Chael Sonnen on if he’ll keep fighting and at what weight class: “I’ll fight at 205. I’m not retiring. I’m 36 years old. I have a lot of goals and I’m not going to reach them if I retire. I don’t have a lot of options at 185. I’ve fought everyone in the top 10, including the champion a couple of times. So I moved up to 205, but I lost to the champ and it wasn’t a competitive enough match to warrant another chance. So what do I do? It was a lot better experience, not having to get the weight off. I’ll give up the size, but have a smile on my face. I could be talked into going back down if that’s where the fights are. The landscape changes quickly. I think there will be a big shakeup on July 4th weekend when Weidman gets his hands on Anderson.”

Sonnen on what it was like in the Octagon with Jones: “This was like getting into a bear cage. This guy was a monster of a man. We weighed in at the same size the day before, and I don’t know how that was possible. I put my arms around him and I thought, ‘oh my god, you’re a big guy.’ As far as the match went, I got beat up.”

Sonnen on what he thought about the early stoppage: “It’s two-fold, any time the ref helps you and stops a fight to keep you from getting hurt, you never want to come out and say anything that could disparage his judgment. At the same time, we’re in the middle of an ass-whipping contest, let us get after it. When I had my hands up because a guy is punching me, that’s called defense. But I never want to question a referee.”

Sonnen on how he would have felt winning the belt if Jones couldn’t fight with the broken toe: “Diplomatically you don’t ever want to win that way. The ones that hurt are the ones you’re supposed to win and then you blow it. But if it was given to me, I would have grabbed that belt, I would have held it up, grabbed the mic and told the crowd the golden rule is ‘he with the gold rules,’ and I would have walked out of the place and never looked back.” 

Sonnen on how he envisioned the fight was going to go: “I was going to have to grind him down. I could see him he poses a lot of problems. He’s big, he’s strong and he’s got the wing span of a radioactive condor. I knew he’d take me down, but I never thought that he could take me down repeatedly. That was a surprise. And the fact that he tried so quickly, I was thrown off a little.”