It’s quickly becoming one of the most talked about subjects of the week. Chael Sonnen has signed with Bellator Fighting. He was once the middleweight title challenger, only seconds away from submitting one of the greatest of all time – Anderson Silva. We thought it was a no brainer that he would resign with the UFC, this became more obvious when he entered the USADA testing pool. But the self proclaimed “bad guy” has had a change of heart.
Sonnen said himself in a press call that he always thought he would go back to the UFC and never thought twice about it. He believes that he was released from the UFC in 2013 when “the storm first hit”. He implied that his Bellator deal was done with only 2 or 3 calls and texts between Scott Coker and himself. Although he didn’t go in to detail as to why he signed with Bellator he did mention that it was the biggest deal that he had ever signed. He also said that when Road Warrior Animal walked out Ken Shamrock he felt jealous and he wanted that experience. He also said ” People ask me why bellator, but I don’t have a good answer.” What was clear is that Chael says he is a Bellator guy now and is loyal to the company that employs him.
Fighting isn’t the only thing that Chael hopes to get out of the deal. He says that he will stay a commentator at WSOF. But he also hopes to do things for Bellator like promotional work and commentary. He even said he was open to fighting in Rizin. He made it clear that he is back to break records. He wants money records, t shirt sales, pay per view buys. Said he had them all before he was retired and now he is back.
It also sounded like he would still be doing analyst work for ESPN. He said “For ESPN we cover MMA, but the big fights, The UFC dominates that. But ESPN’s commitment is to MMA and not to the UFC. Chael also has a very popular podcast, this seems like it is going to be a lot of publicity for Bellator.
Some people were skeptical about why Sonnen went to Bellator and if it has anything to do with the fact that UFC has increased it’s drug testing significantly. Chael addressed that in saying that he was tested 4 times by USADA and was not flagged. If he had been flagged Coker would not be talking to him. Also he stated that it is in his contract that if he fails a drug test he is fined 100% of his purse plus 500k. He said he was embarrassed from his past transgressions. Hopefully this will silence some of the haters.
As for who he will fight in Bellator? The possibilities seem endless. Chael said that he is interested in fighting multiple weight classes. “I’m not sticking to one weight class either. I fight at gangster weight and no one is safe.” Sonnen is clearly looking for money fights.
Maybe the first to accept Chael Sonnen’s challenge is another Bellator new comer Rory Macdonald who is another top talent scouted from the UFC. He tweeted ” Gangster weight sounds good to me.” It’s becoming clear that every fighter Bellator adds to it’s roster the deeper the divisions are going to become. Especially with fighters like Rory and Chael who seem to be willing to fight at any weight class.
What else could be in store for Chael Sonnen? He says he wants to make his way up to Liam Mcgeery and fight for the title. He said his debut might be at 205lbs. But their are other options available as well, and he wasn’t long making call outs to many of the names in Bellator.
At the press call he stated that if the bad boy wants a piece of the bad guy all he has to do is say his name, and he was referring to Tito Ortiz. He also called out Wanderlei Silva saying that he assure us that they will fight and it will be sooner than people think. He even went as far as saying that he would fight Fedor and that he didn’t consider his fights in japan real fights.
We don’t know what Chael is going to do, but what we do know is that this is great publicity for Bellator which is quickly becoming must watch fighting.
Who do you guys think he should fight? What do you think of this signing. Let me know in the comments or on twitter @MMAFanJesse