Chael Sonnen could have been forever-linked with the likes of Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Kenny Florian, Josh Koscheck and others, but the outspoken fighter turned it down.
Sonnen, who is currently filming for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, recently told MMAjunkie.com that he turned down a spot on the first season of the reality series. Sonnen will appear opposite Jon Jones on the show, which is slated to debut in January.
“When the show very first started, the first coaches ever were my coach, friend, teammate, Randy Coutire, vs. Chuck Liddell, arguably the greatest light heavyweight ever,” Sonnen said. “I watched it as a fan. They asked me to be on the show as an athlete, and I passed on the chance. It was on a different network at that time, but an executive at that office invited me on as an athlete. Then I loved the show.”
Sonnen added that he “didn’t know what to expect,” but after seeing how everything played out, he “regretted that decision (to not compete on TUF 1). I really enjoyed watching it, and all these years later, here I am.”
Sonnen worked his way into a shot at Jones’ UFC 205-pound title. He was last in action earlier this year, falling to Anderson Silva in a rematch for the UFC middleweight title.