Chael Sonnen Retires From MMA
Chael Sonnen recently announced his retirement from MMA after his TKO loss to Lyoto Machida at Bellator 222. Although this is technically his second time retiring from MMA, it will probably be permanent this time as Sonnen is now 42 years old and has lost six of his last nine fights. Even though he never won any major championships or titles, Sonnen leaves behind a legacy in both MMA and wrestling as not only a fierce competitor, but also a fan favorite.
Sonnen started fighting MMA over twenty years ago when MMA was still in its infancy. His first fight was in 1997 before he even had finished college, but before his MMA career really took off, Sonnen was heavily involved in wrestling. Originally from Oregon, he remained there and wrestled for the University of Oregon where he was a two time PAC 10 runner up and an NCAA All-American. In addition to wrestling in college, Sonnen excelled at Greco-Roman wrestling. He took first place at the University Greco Nationals in 1999 and in 2000. He went on to take silver at the 2000 University Greco World Championships, and also in 2000 he almost made the Olympic team in Greco placing third at the Olympic team trials.
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After his wrestling career ended, Chael transitioned into MMA using his high level wrestling background as a foundation for his fighting style. As his career progressed, he amassed a professional record of 31-17-1. During his time as a fighter, he had many high profile wins against Michael Bisping, Maurício Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Paulo Filho, Nate Marquardt, and Quinton Jackson. He did fight for the UFC title twice: once against Jon Jones and another against Anderson Silva, but fell short in both those fights losing by TKO.
In addition to wrestling and MMA, Sonnen is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Fabiano Scherner. Sonnen has competed in many large grappling tournaments including ADCC on multiple occasions.
Sonnen had some low points during his long career which included testing positive for a banned substance, but one of the things fans will remember him most by will be his amazing trashing talking ability. Many would say that before Connor McGregor came became a household name, Chael was the best trash talker in MMA, and even now, Sonnen is always entertaining anytime he is behind a microphone.
Even though he is done competing, Chael is still heavily involved in the MMA and wrestling world. He currently runs a YouTube channel titled “Chael Sonnen” and does a solo show called “Bad Guy Inc” where he talks about MMA, wrestling, and whatever else is on his mind. He also is already involved in broadcasting working with both Bellator and ESPN to help cover the UFC.
While we won’t be seeing him in the cage anymore, he is still creating technique videos for MMA and wrestling. He has a great four part in depth video series titled “Wrestling Fundamentals From The Bad Guy By Chael Sonnen” where he goes over front headlocks, underhooks, leg riding, wrestling from the bottom, wrestling drills, and much more.