Chael Sonnen has officially ended his retirement from MMA competition. But he’s not coming back to the UFC.
Sonnen has signed a deal to compete in Bellator MMA, promotional officials confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Thursday evening. The Associated Press first reported the news.
Sonnen proved to be one of the biggest draws in the UFC’s history after nearly defeating Anderson Silva at UFC 117 during the height of the former champion’s reign atop the 185-pound division.
Sonnen abruptly retired from fighting in June 2014 after failing a random drug test for the presence of human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), anastrozole, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It was the third time “The American Gangster” had failed a drug test in his career. He was given a two-year suspension, which expired early this year.
With the suspension behind him, Sonnen has come out of retirement. He was released by the UFC, and his contract with Bellator MMA is a multi-fight deal.