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chael sonnen

Chael Sonnen

MMA Fighter
  • West Linn, Oregon
  • April 3, 1977
  • The Bad Guy


  • Winner: University National Greco-Roman Championships (1999, 2000)
  • Winner: Dave Schultz Memorial International Greco-Roman (2000, 2001)
  • Semi-finalist: Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix

Chael Sonnen knew from an early age that his path would lead to the highest levels of professional fighting, telling an interviewer, “I wanted to go [to UFC] right then, right out of high school.”

Instead, Sonnen first distinguished himself as a collegiate wrestler at the University of Oregon, where he earned NCAA Division I All-American honors.

He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2001, earning a bachelor's degree in Sociology.

Though Sonnen had one professional win under his belt from 1997, his professional career began in 2002 with a victory over Jason "Mayhem" Miller. He defeated Scott Shipman in the Dangerzone Light Heavyweight Tournament Final to win his first championship the next month. He continued to compete across the United States and Japan until his UFC debut in 2005.

Sonnen first became a UFC championship contender after his unanimous-decision win over Nate Marquardt at UFC 109 – a battle that earned Fight of the Night honors. From there, he challenged and defeated many of MMA’s greatest names, including Michael Bisping, Mauricio Rua, Wanderlei Silva, and Quinton Jackson.

He currently serves as co-host of Ariel & the Bad Guy on ESPN+. He is also a co-owner and commentator of Caged Promotions, which operates Full Contact Fighting Federation, Submission Underground, and Wrestling Underground.

chael sonnen

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