Bellator Signs Sonnen
The “Bad Guy” is back! After ventures with ESPN, World Series of Fighting, and Global Force Wrestling during his two-year suspension for his third failed drug test, one of the original loudmouths of MMA is returning to action in the form of Chael Sonnen. After officially being granted his release, he signed a multi-year ,multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA.
The former Middleweight title challenger signed with the Viacom-owned promotion last Thursday. No terms of the deal have been disclosed.
Sonnen’s drug test showed the presence of human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), anastrozole, and human chorionic gonadotropin(hCG). He has evidently been tested and cleared for the return since that time.
“The Gangster” from West Linn, Oregon appeared on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour in July, saying, “I have to pass this first test, quite frankly. It’s still out there. I’ve gotta pass it. If I pass that, I’ll pass all of them. But I have to know that everything is out. Boom, step one down.”
The ultimate antagonist to Anderson Silva would now like to give the Light Heavyweight division a try and to kickstart his “legends a**-kicking tour” in November against fellow UFC veteran Tito Ortiz. Moreover, Bellator President Scott Coker said in a press release that Sonnen wants to do something no fighter has ever done by fighting in three divisions.
“Chael is an incredible athlete that has competed at the very highest levels of the sport, and I know that he is going to continue to do just that here at Bellator,” Coker said.
“He has that entertainer X-factor that can’t be taught. When we were talking, Chael was adamant that he wants to compete in three divisions here. He already has unfinished business with Wanderlei Silva, but he also wants to fight Tito Ortiz, Fedor Emelianenko, and even Rory MacDonald at middleweight. These are all fights that I’d be very inclined to watch, so hopefully we can put some, if not all, of these matchups together.”
MacDonald first responded on Twitter by saying to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani:
"I'm not sticking to one weight class either, I fight at ‘Gangster Weight’ and nobody is safe.” @ChaelSonnen, via press release tonight.
@arielhelwani @ChaelSonnen gangster weight sounds good to me
Not to be outdone, Ortiz then entered the picture.
So "The Bad Girl"@ChaelSonnen calls me out!Payback is a great way 2 end of my career.Welcome 2 @BellatorMMA ass whippings come at a cost!
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” then wrote on Instagram: “… I will meet you by the Bay.”
Note: Sonnen’s deal as a broadcaster for World Series of Fighting remains in effect.