Former UFC star Chael Sonnen (pictured), arguably the biggest performance-enhancing drug abuser in the history over mixed martial arts, has signed a multi-year, multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.
“I’m consistently blown away by the product and presentation that Bellator is bringing to the fans,” Sonnen said in Thursday’s press release. “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 was slated to fight Vitor Belfort at UFC 175 in July 2014. He promptly retired from MMA after his first random drug test showed signs of Anastrozole, Clomiphene and human chorionic gonadotropin.
A second random exam revealed Sonnen tested positive for human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) and hCG.
Sonnen was then relieved of his broadcasting duties with the UFC and FOX.
Of course, it wasn’t the first occasion Sonnen had cheated during his fighting career. He failed a drug test after losing to then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 117 when he clocked a testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio of 16.9:1, more than four times the legal limit permitted by the California State Athletic Commission. The average man has a T/E ratio of 1:1.
Nonetheless, Bellator president Scott Coker thinks Sonnen still has plenty to offer the sport and is already throwing out potential matchups. Sonnen’s ability to talk the talk certainly played a role in his decision to ink the controversial wrestler.
“Chael is an incredible athlete that has competed at the very highest levels of the sport,” 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, now 39, owns a 28-14-1 professional record. He’s dropped three of his past four fights, with his most recent outing resulting in a landslide TKO defeat to Rashad Evans at UFC 167 in November 2013.