What an eventful day for one of the best trash talkers in the world of mixed martial arts.
Chael Sonnen has announced he is coming out of retirement at the age of 39 to sign with Bellator MMA.
Chael Sonnen tells Associated Press he’s signed with Bellator. Bellator officials confirm. This man is full of surprises.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 16, 2016
The Rulers Back. — Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) September 16, 2016
Sonnen hasn’t fought since 2013. He was handed a two-year suspension in 2014 after multiple failed drug tests and subsequently announced he was retiring from the sport. That suspension is now over, and many expected Sonnen to resurface in the UFC after entering the USADA drug testing pool earlier this summer. Instead, he will be looking to take on some of the biggest names in Bellator.
“Chael is an incredible athlete that has competed at the very highest levels of the sport,” said Bellator CEO Scott Coker, according to MMAFighting.com, “And I know that he is going to continue to do just that here at Bellator. When we were signing him, 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 guys like 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 starting before the end of the year.”
Greg Beacham of the Associated Press also confirmed Sonnen’s interest in fighting Tito Ortiz aka The Hunnington Beach Bad Boy.
I asked Chael Sonnen when and who he wants to fight first with Bellator: “The Bad Boy vs the Bad Guy in November, and that’s a quote.”
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) September 16, 2016
Sonnen is reportedly willing to fight at multiple weight classes, taking on whichever fight will garner the most interest from fans.
“I’m consistently blown away by the product and presentation that Bellator is bringing to the fans,” said Sonnen. “I’m not nearly done competing and I’m coming after everyone, everywhere. I’m not sticking to one weight class either, I fight at ‘Gangster Weight’ and nobody is safe.”