73 Facts About Chael Sonnen


Chael Patrick Sonnen is an American submission grappling promoter, mixed martial arts analyst, and retired mixed martial artist.


Chael Sonnen has fought in World Extreme Cagefighting, Pancrase, and most recently for Bellator MMA.


Chael Sonnen is often considered one of the best mixed martial artists never to have won a major MMA world championship and one of the sport's greatest trash-talkers.


In 2014, Chael Sonnen began working as a MMA analyst for ESPN and two years later, in July 2016, founded Submission Underground, his own submission grappling promotion.


Chael Sonnen was born in either Milwaukie, Oregon, or West Linn, Oregon, and began wrestling at the age of nine.


Chael Sonnen attended West Linn High School, where he was a state runner-up.


In 1996, Chael Sonnen began training in boxing, with the hope of competing in the UFC upon graduating from high school.

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At Oregon, Chael Sonnen earned All-American honors, was a two-time PAC-10 runner-up, was a silver medalist at the 2000 Greco-Roman World University Championships, and was a two-time Dave Schultz Memorial International Greco-Roman winner.


Chael Sonnen graduated from the University of Oregon in 2001, with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology.


Chael Sonnen started his mixed martial arts career in 1997 at the age of 19, by defeating Ben Hailey in Vancouver, Washington.


Chael Sonnen won his first six fights, before losing to Trevor Prangley.


Chael Sonnen made his UFC debut in a Light Heavyweight bout against former IFC Light Heavyweight Champion Renato Sobral at UFC 55, submitting to a second-round triangle choke.


Chael Sonnen then avenged his first loss, by winning a unanimous decision over Trevor Prangley at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 4.


In May 2006, Chael Sonnen debuted for Bodog Fight, defeating Tim Credeur via TKO.


In December 2007, Chael Sonnen fought Paulo Filho for the WEC Middleweight Championship.


Chael Sonnen lost via a controversial submission at 4:55 of the second round.


Chael Sonnen did not tap out but screamed in pain, which the referee interpreted as a verbal submission.


Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, claimed Chael Sonnen only yelled "No" after the referee stopped the fight.


Chael Sonnen instead faced undefeated contender Bryan Baker and dominated him for three rounds to win a unanimous decision.


Filho appeared distracted through out the bout, and Chael Sonnen took advantage winning all three rounds to win the fight via unanimous decision.


At UFC 98 in May 2009, Chael Sonnen defeated Dan Miller via unanimous decision.


Chael Sonnen was a late replacement for Yushin Okami, who tore ligament while training.


Chael Sonnen took the fight on 22 days' notice, and lost 36 pounds in order to compete.


Chael Sonnen won a unanimous decision, after escaping two deep guillotine chokes in the first and third rounds.


At UFC 117 on August 7,2010, Chael Sonnen challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship.

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Chael Sonnen had trash talked to hype the fight, stating he was going to retire Silva.


Chael Sonnen put on a dominant performance, stunning Silva early with his boxing, and then dominating the fight with his wrestling, heading into the fifth round, Chael Sonnen was ahead on the judges' scorecards.


Chael Sonnen was fined $2,500 and suspended for one year by the California State Athletic Commission.


Chael Sonnen testified he had been diagnosed with hypogonadism in 2008 and was undergoing testosterone replacement therapy, self-injecting synthetic testosterone two times a week.


Chael Sonnen said he believed this advice about disclosure applied to the forms of other state athletic commissions.


Chael Sonnen said he had previously disclosed his condition to the CSAC before his UFC 104 bout with Yushin Okami, which took place in Los Angeles on October 24,2009.


CSAC Executive Director George Dodd has contradicted Chael Sonnen's testimony, stating the CSAC has no documentary evidence of Chael Sonnen ever being approved for TRT.


Chael Sonnen appeared before the CSAC on May 18,2011, requesting the suspension be lifted.


Two days later, the CSAC clarified that the applicable regulations only allowed Chael Sonnen to be suspended until his existing license expired.


Chael Sonnen was awarded the unanimous decision victory after three rounds.


However, Chael Sonnen would be unable to score a takedown in the second round, and attempted a spinning backfist that missed, causing him to lose his balance, with Silva connecting with a knee to the body and finishing Chael Sonnen with punches, losing the fight by TKO in the second round.


Chael Sonnen originally accepted a fight with Jon Jones for the title at UFC 151, after Jones's original challenger Dan Henderson was injured, but Jones declined.


Dana White defended the matchup, saying "Chael Sonnen was willing to fly over to Las Vegas to fight Jones on the same day", while other contenders like Mauricio Rua and Lyoto Machida turned the offer down.


Jon Jones showed a lack of interest in the fight and downplayed the contest, making it clear that he did not believe Chael Sonnen to be a worthy contender.


Chael Sonnen was expected to face Mauricio Rua on June 15,2013, at UFC 161, replacing Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who had pulled out of the bout citing a back injury.


However, issues relating to obtaining a visa meant Chael Sonnen was not able to get into Canada, and Rua ended up being pulled from the event altogether.


Chael Sonnen won via a guillotine choke submission in the first round.


Chael Sonnen faced Rashad Evans on November 16,2013, at UFC 167.


Chael Sonnen lost the fight via TKO in the first round.


On October 22,2013, it was announced that Chael Sonnen would be coaching The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3, against long-time rival Wanderlei Silva.

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Dana White later stated the fight had to be rescheduled because Silva injured his hand from a brawl with Chael Sonnen that took place during the filming of the show.


However, Chael Sonnen subsequently failed his random drug test and was removed from the bout.


On July 23,2014, the NSAC ruled that Chael Sonnen would be suspended for 2 years from martial arts competition worldwide due to his multiple failed drugs tests.


On September 15,2016, it was reported that Chael Sonnen had signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.


Chael Sonnen made his promotional debut in a light heavyweight match against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC Hall-of-Famer Tito Ortiz on January 21,2017, in the main event at Bellator 170.


Chael Sonnen lost the fight via submission in the first round.


Chael Sonnen's second promotional fight was a rescheduled match up against Wanderlei Silva on June 24,2017, in the main event at Bellator NYC.


Chael Sonnen won the fight via unanimous decision.


Chael Sonnen got knocked down in the first round but dominated the rest of the fight to guarantee a win over his long-time rival.


Chael Sonnen faced Quinton Jackson for the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament on January 20,2018, at Bellator 192.


Chael Sonnen won the fight via unanimous decision, securing a takedown in each round to establish the win.


Chael Sonnen faced Fedor Emelianenko next in the semifinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament on October 13,2018, at Bellator 208.


Chael Sonnen lost the fight via TKO in the first round.


Chael Sonnen lost the fight via TKO in the second round.


Chael Sonnen announced his retirement from MMA in the post-fight interview.


On September 2,2015, it was announced that Chael Sonnen signed with the World Series of Fighting to become a member of their broadcast team beginning at WSOF 23.


Chael Sonnen ran as the Republican candidate for the 37th district of the Oregon House of Representatives in 2010.


Chael Sonnen is married to Brittany; their wedding was in July 2013.


On May 5,2013, Chael Sonnen announced he would like to buy WWE after he retires.


In 2012, Chael Sonnen started Mean Streets Pizza with business partner Lee Gamble in West Linn, Oregon.

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In February 2013 Chael Sonnen sued his business partner for embezzlement and unpaid rent.


Chael Sonnen sold Mean Streets Pizza in 2014 to new management and it was renamed Island Sam's Pizza.


In December 2021, Chael Sonnen was charged with five counts of misdemeanor battery after an alleged altercation at a Luxor Hotel and Casino hotel in Las Vegas.


Witnesses reported seeing Chael Sonnen loudly banging on a hotel room door at around 7:00 PM PST.


On January 27,2022, all charges against Chael Sonnen were dropped without prejudice.


Chael Sonnen initially faced five misdemeanor battery charges by five different people but the charges were dismissed at court.


On March 30,2022, Chael Sonnen's charges were reduced to six misdemeanors and the trial is set to begin on April 5,2023, after Chael Sonnen rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors on four misdemeanor battery charges.


Chael Sonnen was fired by host Arnold Schwarzenegger in the show's 4th week after it emerged that he had deliberately cut his team's computer cord in order to gain them more time.