Chael Sonnen wanted to fight Fedor on hours’ notice, Bellator was interested

February 19, 2017 7:37 am by Tom Taylor
Chael Sonnen

Last night, Bellator MMA returned to San Jose, California with Bellator 172. Until yesterday afternoon, we expected this card to be headlined by a heavyweight scrap between UFC veteran Matt Mitrione and heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko. Unfortunately, disaster struck on Saturday afternoon, when Mitrione was forced out of the bout with kidney stones. In the wake of this shakeup, a Patricky Freire vs. Josh Thomson lightweight bout was elevated to the main event, and an opponent-less Fedor Emelianenko was removed from the card.

Apparently, however, things very nearly turned out differently. According to a report from the ever-reliable Ariel Helwani, Bellator light heavyweight and cage-side commentator Chael Sonnen offered to step up to replace Mitrione on mere hours’ notice. Surprisingly enough, Bellator was apparently interested in pushing forward with this hastily arranged replacement fight, but unfortunately, they couldn’t make it happen in such a short time.

When this last-minute fight fell through, Sonnen’s job behind the commentary desk went ahead as planned.

When we last saw Sonnen in the cage, he was making a return to action after many years on the shelf. Unfortunately, this return went fairly disastrously, as he was tapped out by the retiring Tito Ortiz in just one round. In fact, his loss was so decisive that some fans suggested the fight was a fix. Prior to this ugly loss, Sonnen lost to Rashad Evans, defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and came up short in UFC title fights with Jon Jones and Anderson Silva.

Fedor, meanwhile, returned from a short-lived retirment to maul an outmatched Jaideep Singh in December of 2015. In his next and most recent bout, he scored an extremely controversial win over light heavyweight UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado.

Would you have been interested in a last-minute Chael Sonnen vs. Fedor Emelianenko fight? Who do you think would have won this potential showdown? Sound off, PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/19/2017.


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