‘The American Gangster’ Chael Sonnen has a new home. Following his self imposed retirement in 2014, ‘The Bad Guy’ who twice fought Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight championship in addition to fighting Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship is returning to action for Bellator MMA in what has been described as a multi-year, multi-fight deal.
Speaking on the deal, Sonnen spoke of his admiration for what the promotion has been able to do in the sport as well as putting to bed any thoughts that this is some type of pension plan.
“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.”
Bellator President Scott Coker has really taken advantage of the free agency landscape this year making marquee signing after marquee signing. With Matt Mitrione, Benson Henderson and most recently Rory MacDonald already inking deals with the promotion, the signing of Sonnen, one of the biggest draws in MMA history trumps the lot.
“Chael is an incredible athlete that has competed at the very highest levels of the sport,” said Coker. “I know that he is going to continue to do just that here at Bellator. When we were in the process of 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.”
So who does Sonnen like to fight first? Well there’s a lot on the cards but it might be former UFC light heavyweight champion and hall of famer Tito Ortiz. Speaking to the Associated Press Sonnen said: “The Bad Boy vs the Bad Guy in November.”