Good news for MMA betting fans who think UFC is too slick and altogether well-produced and like their underdog to be not just a particular fighter but the entire promotion – the equivalent of wrestling fans who watch TNA Impact –; the ‘American Gangster’ Chael Sonnen signed with Bellator MMA on September 15th, thus ending his retirement (or “Nevada State Athletic Commission-enforced two-year suspension for failing multiple failed drugs tests,” if you want to pick nits.) “The ruler has returned,” Sonnen told MMAMania. And it’s about time too; I’m tired of all my lines turning out crooked.
Fans who bet on MMA might remember – or might not, it was so long ago – that Sonnen last fought inside the Octagon at UFC 167 on November 16th, 2013 in a lost to Rashad Evans. His last win came at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen on August 17th, 2013 when he submitted Mauricio Rua with a guillotine choke. His current win-loss record stands at 29 wins, 14 losses, and 1 draw. The 39 year old Sonnen will be in good company in Bellator, whose roster includes Wanderlei Silva, Royce Gracie, Rampage Jackson, Bobby Lashley, Tito Ortiz, and Ken Shamrock. Who’s hiring these guys? Eric Bischoff? Though to be fair, each and every one of them could kick CM Punk’s a**. But then, even Kimbo Slice (RIP) could probably do that, too.
So how soon will you be able to put your MMA betting money on – or against – Chael Sonnen? “I think it’s going to be November,” Sonnen said. Ortiz and Silva, as well as Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, and Rory MacDonald are some of the names being thrown around as Sonnen’s potential first opponent. Regardless of whom he faces first, Sonnen has said he will begin this new chapter in his career with no set preferences about opponents, locations or weight classes (which he calls “gangster weight,” whatever that may mean) – heck, he’ll even fight the girls in the women’s division. One of these days, pow, straight to the moon. During his retirement Sonnen served as an MMA commentator and analyst, and was adamant that he would never return. Perhaps he though the suspension was permanent.
When asked about his previous stance about not coming back, Sonnen said “I’m a heel. Heels lie.” You know who else is a heel? CM Punk. The erstwhile Best in the World signed a multi-fight contract with UFC, but obviously doesn’t have much of a career left there, so Dana White should either release him or allow him to fight in Bellator. Facing a guy who is even older than him and hasn’t fought in three years should make Punk not that much of an MMA betting underdog, right? Sure, who knows whether Sonnen would accept such a softball being thrown his way, but you know what they say, money talks. And we already know Punk is the Prairie View A&M of mixed martial arts. It’s a win/win situation. Without further ado, make that happen, Dana White and guy who runs Bellator MMA.