Chael Sonnen did a lot of wrestling during his MMA career. But he apparently wasn’t interested in abandoning his career with the UFC to wrestle “professionally” with the WWE. He explained the offer on his podcast, transcribed by David St. Martin at MMAFighting.
“Here’s the nuts and bolts of it: I was offered $5 million by [WWE promoter] Vince McMahon. Now, I was still under contract with the UFC and I never took this to Dana. I handled it on my own. I told [WWE], ‘No’ and that was the end of that. I never told Dana White this story, but here’s why I didn’t tell him. I knew if I called Dana and said, ‘I’ve got a $5 million offer from Vince McMahon,’ Dana would have matched it. Dana would have come close and now all of a sudden I’m not a loyal employee. I’m not loyal to the UFC. I’m shopping them and I’m being loyal to myself. That’s business. That’s how that works and I don’t think anyone would have had hard feelings but I didn’t see myself that way.”
If you believe Chael, his unconventional strategy allowed him to avoid complications that might have resulted from being paid millions of dollars by the UFC, a job he later had to resign after he failed that pre-fight drug test. That is either the Ultimate Irony, or another tall-tall by the master storyteller.