Chael Sonnen Ready to Fight Star: ‘I Happen to Be Free’

Chael Sonnen

Getty Chael Sonnen attends the UFC 170 event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on February 22, 2014.

Three-time UFC title challenger and one of the most popular fighters of his time, Chael Sonnen, teased his interest in returning to combat sports.

Sonnen retired from MMA in 2019 after suffering a TKO loss to Lyoto Machida in Bellator. He retired with a professional record of 31-17-1.

However, at 44 years old, Sonnen seems to be open to a boxing match.

In a video clip Sonnen posted on social media Monday night, “The American Gangster” revealed that he happens to “be free” the day Oscar De La Hoya plans to make his boxing return.

Weeks back, De La Hoya announced that he was returning to the boxing ring on July 3 to compete on Triller. According to reports, however, De La Hoya’s return has been pushed back. For an opponent, Triller and De La Hoya were pursuing a match with former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. However, “GSP” is under contract with the UFC and president Dana White has made it clear that he doesn’t plan on working with Triller or De La Hoya.

Now, Sonnen appears to want a piece of “The Golden Boy.”

“I saw the date of that proposed fight, Oscar,” Sonnen said. “I checked my calendar. I happen to be free.” Watch the clip below:

Sonnen’s apparent challenge stems from De La Hoya’s callout of White. With the knowledge of White potentially halting a match between himself and GSP, De La Hoya fired a shot at the UFC president.

“@danawhite Quit blocking @GeorgesStPierre’s chance to fight,” De La Hoya tweeted on May 21. “How about we get into the ring first little B**** then after I kick your ass, I’ll fight a real man #DeLaHoyaGSP #LetGSPFight”

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Sonnen Fought 5 Times In Bellator Before Retiring From MMA

Chael Sonnen & Tito Ortiz

GettyChael Sonnen & Tito Ortiz

In 2017, The American Gangster made his Bellator debut against former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. It was Sonnen’s first fight since his TKO loss to another former UFC 205-pound champ, Rashad Evans, in 2013 at UFC 167.

The fight with Ortiz did not go Sonnen’s way and he was finished via rear-naked choke in the first round. A few months later, The American Gangster would bounce back by defeating his longtime rival Wanderlei Silva by unanimous decision.

Sonnen continued his win streak in Bellator by defeating former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the quarterfinal of the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament. The American Gangster won by unanimous decision.

His win over Rampage would be Sonnen’s last in his professional MMA career. He dropped his last two fights, first losing to Fedor Emelianenko by first-round TKO during their semifinal match. Then, Sonnen cut back down to light heavyweight in an attempt to make a run at 205-pound Bellator gold. However, he was finished by Lyoto Machida in their 2019 fight.

Sonnen retired after the fight.

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