The bad guy's back.
Former UFC middleweight title challenger and pay-per-view attraction Chael Sonnen has inked a deal with Las Vegas-based professional wrestling company Global Force Wrestling.
The new promotion, which is owned and operated by former WWE superstar Jeff Jarrett, will have their first television taping on July 24 at The Orleans in Las Vegas. A distribution deal has yet to be announced. Sonnen was introduced as an "expert analyst" at Wednesday's press conference.
Sonnen should serve as quite the addition to Jarrett's upstart promotion. "The Gangster from West Linn" had a wildly successful mixed martial arts career despite the absence of a fan-friendly fighting style.
But whatever excitement Sonnen lacked in-ring, he more than made up for it when he was presented with a microphone or television camera. To say Sonnen revolutionized the way a fighter could make himself a commodity would be more than fair. He drummed up endless interest in his two fights with UFC legend Anderson Silva. And right before his unceremonious retirement/suspension (a suspension he is still currently serving), Sonnen was working on a lengthy beef with former PRIDE FC champion Wanderlei Silva.
Always willing to cross the largest line, and never finding a crowd too small (or large, for that matter) to entertain, Sonnen now finds himself with Global Force Wrestling. And fans can most assuredly expect that very same slick-tongued Sonnen to do what he has done best for the last half-decade: Keep things interesting.
Sonnen will continue to work as an analyst at ESPN, a role he has served since 2014. No word on who Sonnen will be paired with when he makes his announcing debut but former WWE announcer Jim Ross has been mentioned as a possible candidate. Both Ross and Sonnen announced an MMA event last year. However, according to Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, Ross and the promotion have yet to come to terms.