Last night, news broke that former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen had signed with Bellator MMA.
Shortly thereafter, Sonnen took to Twitter to address this surprising move, while several notable reporters announced that the fan favorite mouth-piece had already called for a bout with Bellator light heavyweight Tito Ortiz.
The Rulers Back.
— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) September 16, 2016
I asked Chael Sonnen when and who he wants to fight first with Bellator: "The Bad Boy vs the Bad Guy in November, and that's a quote."
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) September 16, 2016
Sonnen’s Bellator debut hasn’t been set yet, but I’m told he wants to Tito Ortiz ASAP.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 16, 2016
“You know, it’s strange, I would have though for sure we were gonna see Chael Sonnen [back] in the UFC,” Penn said. “It seemed like he tried to stay around. I don’t know, I never really got a chance to listen to his radio show, but it seemed that him and the UFC were in good talks, and on good terms. I’m sure it just comes down to business for both parties.”
“The UFC is a business. Rory MacDonald is over there in Bellator now, [so is] Benson [Henderson]. The UFC has to do what they’ve gotta do from a business side, and these guys gotta do what they gotta do from a business side…”
“I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, I don’t know how much money Chael wanted.”
Whatever the reason for Sonnen’s Bellator move, however, Penn said that he wishes him the best, and that he’s eager to watch his career continue to unfold inside the Bellator cage.
“I wish Chael the best. He’s awesome man. I’m gonna watch whatever Chael’s gonna do. I’m gonna sit down and watch what Chael Sonnen does.”
Penn also touched on what this high-profile signing means for Bellator, MMA’s ever-growing, number-two promotion.
“I think that Chael going over there, that’s great for Bellator,” the Hawaiian legend said.
Were you surprised by Sonnen’s move to Bellator? Who do you want to see “the American Gangster” fight first in the Bellator cage? Sound off, PENN nation!