Chael Sonnen Faces Crippling Fines if He Tests Positive at Bellator

September 16, 2016

Chael Sonnen came out of retirement on Thursday, but surprised nearly everyone by signing a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA, not the UFC.

Sonnen’s UFC run ended in turmoil, when he failed multiple drug tests. He retired during the adjudication process. Although he initially thought his retirement was the end of his competitive mixed martial arts career, Sonnen shifted gears and decided to stage a comeback.

In his return, Sonnen is going to have to abide by a newfound culture focused on testing for performance-enhancing drugs. He insists he’s not going back to his former ways, and he best not. If he does, it’s going to be extremely costly.

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“I don’t like those things I did. They embarrass me. I was outside of the lines. I should have been suspended, and I was. I did my time, but I can tell you, I’m not going back,” Sonnen declared during a media conference call on Friday.

Chael Sonnen UFC 148 workout“If I was to fail a test under my Bellator contract, it would cost me 100-percent of my purse and $500,000.”

Those are hard, cold numbers. When Sonnen faced the Nevada Athletic Commission for his failed tests under the UFC banner, he ultimately received a two-year suspension and had to reimburse the commission for its expenses related to the drug tests and the adjudication of his case.

Under his Bellator agreement, it is in his contract that Sonnen will forfeit his purse and half a million dollars to the promotion, and that’s before he undergoes any adjudication by regulators.

“That is in writing. I understand for you guys that is not as good as a clean test, but boy that’s got to mean something. If you think I didn’t read that part before signing (the contract), I did,” said Sonnen.

“That’s before you deal with your commission issues and everything else. Full purse, $500,000. That’s just to Bellator. That’s before we start dealing with commissions.”

He insists, however, that he is “on the other side of the tracks now.” And he’d better be, because it is going to be a significant financial hit if he falls off the rails and back to the wrong side of the track.

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