During his competitive time in professional mixed martial arts (MMA), former UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen used his widely-herladed promotional abilities to raise his profile as well as those of his fights. Now retired from MMA, he’s still putting those skills to use, but in a different if slightly related context.
Sonnen is officially becoming a promoter as he launches ‘Submission Underground’, a submission grappling event based on the superfights model. The first event is set to take place on July 17 at the Roseland Ballroom in Portland, Oregon and will air exclusively on FloCombat.com.
The UFC veteran has dabbled in a number of projects since the end of his fighting career in 2013. He hosts a podcast, does color commentary for WSOF on NBC Sports and even competed in submission grappling superfights himself. He grappled twice in Metamoris, losing once to Andre Galvao while reaching a draw with one-time MMA opponent Renato Sobral. He more recently met another one-time UFC opponent Michael Bisping in UR Fight in March of this year.
In transforming from competitor to promoter of a grappling event, Sonnen tells MMA Fighting, he wants to give to the sport something he believes it desperately lacks: enough opportunity for the surprisingly large amount of participants.
“When I left MMA, I started getting into grappling. I got to go wrestle at Metamoris. I had a great experience. I caught on pretty quick that the participants for grappling outdo MMA about 15 to 1. I go into the gym, we’ve got a couple hundred people there. I used to be at MMA gyms, we have six, seven, eight guys in the room. So I realized, ‘Geez, we’ve got all these participants. These guys need somewhere to compete’,” he says.
“Then I ended up in that spot. I started ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting