On Saturday night, the incredible journey of Chael Sonnen might have come to a close. For the third time since joining the UFC roster, "The American Gangster" came up short in a bid to capture UFC gold.
Post-fight, Sonnen hinted that retirement might be knocking on his door due to a lack of upward mobility. However, there are still some intriguing fights that Chael should consider before hanging up his gloves for good.
Here is a look at five potential fights for Sonnen to take next.
Now that Sonnen has been unsuccessful in bids for the middleweight and light heavyweight championships, the only logical step is for The American Gangster to bump up in weight one more time and begin fighting as a heavyweight.
And of course he deserves an immediate crack at the belt.
Just kidding. There is no chance in this world that Chael Sonnen sniffs a title shot in any weight class in the future, let alone the heavyweight division. Retirement is a likely option, but from here on out, all suggestions will be serious, should Sonnen decide to get back into the Octagon.
Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen have a lot in common. They both have tremendous stock in their wrestling skills. They both are able to generate an emotional response from fans when a microphone is in their hand. And they both have a future in MMA broadcasting after retiring from in-cage combat.
Evans is currently scheduled to face Dan Henderson at UFC 161. If unsuccessful, that will mark a trio of losses for "Suga," and the former champion will need to stay relevant by taking on a household name.
Because this fight only makes sense in the event of an Evans loss, it's not a top choice.
Due to his uncanny ability to promote a fight, Sonnen has entered the rare territory of MMA superstardom. By simply being on an event, Sonnen can boost the watchability of any fight card.
There is another middleweight/light heavyweight who holds that same distinction, however, "Ace" was actually able to capture a UFC championship.
A matchup between Sonnen and Franklin would see two guys with tremendous name value square off in a fight that would be heavily debated during the buildup.
Can Rich shut down the takedowns? What do you think?
While a matchup between Sonnen and Silva doesn't seem like the stylistic type of fight that "The Axe Murderer" is likely to accept, there is a history of bad blood between the PRIDE legend and the bad boy of West Linn.
In his post-fight presser, Sonnen took a jab at Wanderlei when asked what the future may hold.
"What am I going to do? I'm terrible. What are you going to do? Put me against Wanderlei Silva? There's nothing for me to do around here."
Forrest Griffin was originally slated to meet Chael Sonnen at UFC 155 when the big-mouth middleweight first decided to jump up to 205 pounds. It was a rematch from their 2003 encounter, which Griffin won in the first round due to a triangle choke.
Sonnen was pulled from the matchup when it was announced that he would coach The Ultimate Fighter and meet Jon Jones. Griffin ended up getting hurt and pulling off of the card himself, instead of meeting replacement opponent Phil Davis.
Putting these two in the cage together would be a good test between two fighters that fans can never seem to get enough of.