Chael Sonnen Signs With Bellator, Will Compete At Light Heavyweight

Chael Sonnen has signed an exclusive contract with Bellator MMA.

Following an initial report by the Associated Press, Bellator confirmed the signing with a press release.

“I’m consistently blown away by the product and presentation that Bellator is bringing to the fans,” Sonnen said. “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.”

Sonnen has spent a vast majority of his 43-fight career with the UFC, a run where he competed against names the likes of former champions Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Rashad Evans, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, along with Demian Maia, Brian Stann and current middleweight champion Michael Bisping.

In addition to his exploits inside the cage, the West Linn, Oregon, native has mastered the art of being in front of the camera, doing major broadcasting work for both ESPN and Fox Sports.

“Chael is an incredible athlete that has competed at the very highest levels of the sport,” Bellator MMA president Scott Coker said. “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.”

Sonnen was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission when he failed a drug test. He announced his retirement from MMA shortly there after.

Bellator will host a conference call with Sonnen and Coker on Friday at noon PT.