"My contract with the UFC has expired," Sonnen said during fan-driven Q&A session at this past weekend's UFC Fan Expo. "So I went to Dana White, and I went to him with a list of my demands because he's getting my contract together. He thought this was a gag, but I was being serious because it's not all about money with me."
Sonnen, of course, remains one of the UFC's most outspoken characters. He frequently claimed in advance of his UFC July 2012 rematch with Anderson Silva that he hadn't signed a bout agreement, but the contest went on exactly as planned. As it stands now, Sonnen is scheduled to headline the UFC's Aug. 17 debut event on FOX Sports 1 against Rua.
But if you take Sonnen's word, there may be a few hurdles to clear before that contest takes place. Sonnen said he communicated his requests to UFC President White via text message, and they include some rather interesting ideas.
"It says, 'Dana, my manager said you guys talked and are getting a contract together for me,'" Sonnen explained. "'I think you should be aware of my demands. First, Jello Biafra replaces Bruce Buffer as ring announcer. Secondly, every fight I'm in must be a No. 1 contender fight or a title match. If I lose, I get an immediate rematch until I win. No media can look me in the eye, or they will be removed from the room.
"'No. 5: Headset legalized through the commission so I can call my own fights. No. 6: No longer will I walk to the ring. I need to be carried. No. 7: Keys to your least favorite Ferrari – I'm not asking too much. No. 8: I can Skype or FaceTime my fights if I feel like flying. No. 9 – and it's non-negotiable: tell 'GSP' to stop being such a dick. I'll return his truck when I'm done with it.'
"See, I'm not all about money, people. There's more to these contracts. They're very sophisticated."
Sonnen's tongue-in-cheek demands obviously drew laughs from the crowd, leaving the exact status of his contract with the UFC in the dark. However, Sonnen remains one of the sport's biggest draws, and his on-camera work outside of the cage is valued as much as his performances in it. In short, it wouldn't seem Sonnen is going to be a free agent anytime soon.
So does he actually need to sign a new deal? As with everything the 36-year-old claims, you have to take it with a grain of salt.
"First thing to remember is when you answer a question, you are not under oath," Sonnen said. "I don't answer questions. I handle questions. That's very important to know.
"Secondly, don't ever apologize for anything. You're a grown up. If it comes out of your mouth, stand by it."
"UFC on FOX Sports 1 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen" takes place Aug. 17 at Boston's TD Garden. The evening's main cars airs on FOX Sports 1 following preliminary bouts on the new all-sports channel, as well as three prelims that stream on Facebook.