Chael Sonnen Hit with Multiple Battery Citations Following Hotel Altercation

Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen, World MMA Awards Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Former UFC title challenger and Bellator MMA fighter Chael Sonnen has been hit with a total of five battery citations following an altercation at a Las Vegas hotel.

TMZ was first to report news of the incident, describing it as a “brawl.”

Sonnen, 44, who hosted the World MMA Awards just over a week ago, was detained but not arrested on Saturday, according to the report. Police continue to investigate.

Citing a witness, TMZ’s initial report states that Sonnen was allegedly banging on a door in the Four Seasons hotel in Vegas, until a couple passed by, at which point a physical altercation allegedly occurred. The witness went on to state that Sonnen was “easily handling the man.”

When the man’s partner began screaming, police were called to the scene.

Sonnen last competed in 2019, losing to Lyoto Machida care of a flying knee. Prior to that, he’d made a trip up to heavyweight, falling to Fedor Emelianenko in Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix.

Regarded as one of the best talkers in MMA history, Chael Sonnen crafted a pro wrestling style persona over the years, while employing workmanlike, stifling wrestling in his fights. His gift of gab elevated rivalries with Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, and Wanderlei Silva; in the UFC, he essentially talked his way into an Ultimate Fighter coaching opportunity and title fight against Jon Jones.

While Sonnen lost the fight against Jones in 2013, it’s another title fight he’s no doubt best remembered for. Against Anderson Silva in 2010, Sonnen pushed “The Spider” to the limit, dominating the middleweight legend for the better part of five rounds before being trapped in a submission late. Sonnen would later test positive for performance enhancing drugs, but declared himself the “true” champion regardless, even carrying around a replica UFC belt.

He’d lose the rematch in 2012, but end up granted the Jones fight at light heavyweight regardless.

After retiring following another drug test scandal then joining Bellator in 2017 only to retire two years later, Sonnen closed out his career with a 31-17-1 record. Of late, he’s served as an analyst for ESPN, and hosts a popular podcast, You’re Welcome.


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