Chael Sonnen
The American Gangster


Announces retirement after loss
Light HeavyweightOther
June 15, 2019
Sonnen announced his retirement Saturday after losing his Bellator 222 bout to Lyoto Machida via TKO (knees, punches), reports.
After the fight Sonnen said, "I used to be tougher. I used to want it more. I used to have more grit, and I just felt like maybe I fired my last bullet. I didn't have that same grit, and it's time to move on." He'll end his career on a two-fight losing streak, but did manage to pick up two victories in his final, five-fight contract with Bellator MMA. The announcement closes the book on a 22-year MMA career in which "The American Gangster" compiled a 30-17-1 record. While a history of PED usage might taint that record in the eyes of some fans, one has to remember that Sonnen came up in the "wild west" days of the UFC, much prior to the implementation of USADA testing. The former UFC title contender was able to get his act together for the final stages of his career, and will retire with a favorable image at the age of 42. He was a promoter's dream -- a brilliant trash talker that always gave it all to hype up a fight. While his competitive days are over, Sonnen has a bright future in broadcasting and fight analysis ahead of him.
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Added to Bellator 222
Light HeavyweightOther
April 8, 2019
Sonnen has been added to the Bellator 222 card in New York against Lyoto Machida on June 14, Bellator President Scott Coker reports.
With both fighters coming into the bout over the age of 40, it'll be a battle of seasoned veterans as both seek to continue their careers. Sonnen lost his most recent outing when he conceded to Dedor Emelianeko at Bellator 208 in October, but Machida will enter the match with more momentum after defeating Rafael Carvalho via split decision in December at Bellator 213.
Concedes defeat to Fedor Emelianeko at Bellator 208
Light HeavyweightOther
October 14, 2018
Sonnen lost to Fedor Emelianenko via TKO (punches) at 4:46 of Round 1 at Bellator 208 on Saturday in Uniondale, N.Y.
Sonnen had very little for the former Pride FC champion, On the feet, the fight was a total mismatch. Emelianenko landed liberally with punches throughout the contest and dropped the former middleweight contender multiple times. Sonnen's best chance to finish the fight came when he scored a takedown and took the back. He tried to lock in the choke but badly lost the position and ended up on the bottom. For the end of the fight, Sonnen went for a takedown, which was easily stopped. Emelianeko threw hammerfists during the attempt that hurt Sonnen. He rolled to a defensive position, and the referee stopped the contest. At this point in his career, Sonnen will struggle when he does not have a clear wrestling advantage.
Will face Fedor Emelianenko in Bellator semifinal
Light HeavyweightOther
July 19, 2018
Sonnen is scheduled to take on Fedor Emelianenko at the Bellator grand prix semifinal on October 13, Shaun Al-Shatti of reports.
For Sonnen, the fight presents an opportunity to prove his skeptics wrong. Despite spending the majority of his career at the middleweight level, the 41-year-old defeated Quinton Jackson by unanimous decision in first heavyweight bout back in January. Although Sonnen figures to enter the fight as a slight underdog, the American carries a fair share of momentum having won each of his last two contests.
Advances in the Bellator Heavyweight tournament with victory in the Bellator 192 main event
Light HeavyweightOther
January 20, 2018
Sonnen defeated Quinton "Rampage" Jackson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at Bellator 192 on Saturday in Inglewood, Calif.
Sonnen's career appeared to be possibly over after fell to Tito Ortiz in the first round of his Bellator debut. However, since that night, he has bounced back with a pair of decision victories over MMA legends. In this fight, he took a one-sided decision over former UFC champion "Rampage." Sonnen has gone back to his roots and relied on his wrestling. He scored takedowns in each round. He did not do very much damage from the top, but it was enough to take the decision. Jackson is well past him prime at this point and fighting at heavyweight is not making things any easier for him. Sonnen will move on in the Bellator heavyweight tournament and face the winner of the bout between former UFC champion Frank Mir and former Pride FC champion Fedor Emelianenko.
To compete for Bellator heavyweight title
Light HeavyweightOther
November 19, 2017
Sonnen will compete with seven other fighters for Bellator's heavyweight title at The Bellator World Grand Prix 2018 Heavyweight Tournament. He will take on Quinton Jackson at Bellator 192 on Jan. 20 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Sonnen (29-15-1) has spent most of his career with the UFC and WEC. He's taken competed with top opponents like Michael Bisping, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and more. He took three years off, during which time he provided commentary for ESPN and Fox Sports, only to rejoin the action in January. Sonnen will compete alongside Quinton Jackson, Roy Nelson, Frank Mir, "King Mo," Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader for the Bellator heavyweight belt.