9 Jul 2012 09:00:14 AM
How the high and mighty have fallen, Potato Nation.
Just a few days after coming up short (again) against Anderson Silva at UFC 148, the rumors and speculations of what lies in store for middleweight contender Chael Sonnen have already begun to take on a life of its own. And at the forefront of those rumors, is the possibility that we may never see perhaps the greatest fight-hyper in the biz in the octagon again. Now, we aren’t normally quick to buy into retirement rumors that come in the immediate aftermath of a fight, even when they are coming from the fighters themselves. Because, as was the case for B.J. Penn and Jamie Varner, these supposed “retirements” were more or less a way of coping with the frustration that comes with of a string of losses (or in Sonnen’s case, a particularly hard loss to swallow), and were over before most of us compile a “Best of” list for either man. The jury is still out on how long Nick Diaz will hold out, but we’re guessing it will likely coincide with his recent suspension.
But regardless of the semi-thesis statement we’ve just laid before you, the head grappling coach at Xtreme Couture, Neil Melanson, feels that we may have seen the last of Sonnen for now. Melanson took over Sonnen’s UFC 148 training camp after Scott McQuary, Sonnen’s longtime head coach, suffered a heart attack a couple months back, and recently sat down with the ironically-titled Verbal Submission Radio to discuss Sonnen’s future in the sport:
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Any time you’re a part of training camp or you’re friends with somebody and they lose, you just worry about them like, how are they gonna handle it mentally? Are they gonna come back from this? You know, I don’t know what Chael’s plans are, but I got a feeling he’s done fighting. I don’t know. I’ve just got a feeling he’s done. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he was serious when he said, ‘If you beat me, I will leave forever,’ and there’s a very good chance of that.