Chael Sonnen Creates “Submission Underground” Grappling Event

While some have wondered if Chael Sonnen will return to fighting once his suspension is up, the former UFC title contender has gone ahead and taken on a different project.

Sonnen will hold the first “Submission Underground” event on July 17 as the promoter, with the card airing from the Roseland Ballroom in Portland, Oregon. It will stream on

The card will feature a main event between Jake Shields and Benson Henderson, along with Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Vinny Magalhaes, Kenny Florian vs. Filipe Costa, Ricco Rodriguez vs. Fabiano Scherner and Jens Pulver vs. Nathan Orchard.

“When I left MMA, I started getting into grappling. I got to go wrestle at Metamoris. I had a great experience. I caught on pretty quick that the participants for grappling outdo MMA about 15 to 1. I go into the gym, we’ve got a couple hundred people there. I used to be at MMA gyms, we have six, seven, eight guys in the room. So I realized, ‘Geez, we’ve got all these participants. These guys need somewhere to compete’,” Sonnen said in an interview with “Then I ended up in that spot. I started saying yes to every grappling opportunity I was given. I never said no. There just wasn’t very many out there. That was really the genesis of it: let’s just give the guys a place to compete, but we need the right partner. It’s like anything else. You’ve got to have the right partner.”

Current plans are for three events to take place and air on FloSports.