Chael Sonnen is a retired American mixed martial artist and current MMA analyst and commentator.
He competed in multiple promotions throughout his career, including the UFC, WEC, and Bellator. Sonnen was known for his grappling skills, as well as his outspoken personality and trash-talking abilities, which helped him to become a popular figure in the MMA community.
In addition to his work as an analyst and commentator, Sonnen has also dabbled in professional wrestling and has made appearances in various promotions, including WWE and Impact Wrestling.
He was also head of Submission Underground, the promotion that got UFC’s Jon Jones to compete in BJJ.
Submission Underground started out on Flocombat, went over to youtube and even had a stint on UFCFightpass. The promotion seems to be on the rocks now.
Sonnen did a guest spot on the El Segundo podcast recently and explained what he sees as a hinderance in taking BJJ mainstream in addition to elaborating on his own woes as a grappling promoter.
“Hard in grappling when every event has its own rules. Every single event, every time somebody sits down, they decide they’re going to start a promotion. They come up with their own rule set and, you know, any basketball court in the world, you put it in the bucket, you get two points, you go to the free throw line. It’s, you know, you get X amount of shots and they’re worth X amount, but it’s the same thing.”
“Boys, girls, junior high NBA, it it’s not that way in grappling. We can’t go on sports. I mean, you can have Jim Rome talk about us or Lebatard or they just can’t they don’t know the rules. And how are we supposed to have a ranking system. Some… you can wear this and free to grabbed the uniform and and this one don’t touch at all.”
“You don’t get a uniform. You have to wear a rashguard. It’s weird, man. You come up with the same rules. I wish that everybody could’ve gone with EBI. I know people push back. They don’t love the rules. What my point, though, isn’t necessarily the rule that the same that everybody had the same that we at least knew what we were looking at.”
Craig Jones reiterated:
“That’s what I hate. Dislike when events do no time limit matches. Sure. I’m like, what am I going to block off 3 hours in my day?”
Sonnen went on to explain that running SUG is an open wound due to a disagreement with UFC Fightpass execs.
“But there’s only so many places you can go and we ended deal with Fightpass. And we had hard feelings. And we had hard feelings. There’s a lot that goes into that. But we had made a deal. Here’s how we’re going to do it. And they forgot the deal. They told us that you got that in writing. So in that it’s not what it’s like to do business with Dana White. So I could have gone to him and sent me to these guys. But I did it. I let it go. I think for ego reasons.”