• UFC 148

Coach predicts Sonnen's UFC career is over

ESPN staff
July 9, 2012

Chael Sonnen's coach has raised question marks over whether the middleweight will continue fighting in the UFC, revealing he might go and do something else.

Sonnen gave himself the big build-up to his fight with Anderson Silva for the middleweight title on Saturday, but when the moment arrived he was defeated. He must now either rebuild his 185lb career or chase Jon Jones' belt at 205lbs.

As a fighter who has always said he would not compete unless he was on course for a world title, Sonnen's future is in limbo right now. He is a distance away from getting another crack at a UFC belt, and coach Neil Melanson wonders if new challenges beckon.

"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?" Melanson said on The Verbal Submission.

"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.

"I never met anyone that had a scenario where it's like, 'If I don't win this then I'm done,' it never worked out positive for them because, just in my experience, you have to love the grind and if you love the grind, eventually you'll get what you want because you give up what you need to give up.

"Apparently Chael had his limit like, 'This is it, I've had enough. If I don't win this then it's all not worth it.' Having lost that, yeah, there's a very good chance he could pursue other things.

"He's a very smart guy, very well spoken. I know, whether he'll admit to it or not, he has a lot of passion to be a broadcaster of sorts. He seems to excel in any type of speaking arrangement. He loves doing interviews. He loves hyping fights and I'm sure he loves training.

"He's a good fighter. He's a great fighter and he's an awesome athlete but he can't fight forever and maybe he's at a point he'd like to do something else. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.