The news was announced on Wednesday that former UFC contender Chael Sonnen has turned to promoting. “The American Gangsta,” in partnership with FloCombat, is launching a grappling event named “Submission Underground.” The debut event takes place on July 17 in Portland, Ore.
This isn’t Sonnen’s first attempt at promotion. He’s an experienced promoter that headed Full Contact Fighting Federation in Oregon for years. In fact, Submission Underground’s debut event is in partnership with FCFF, which will run Rumble at the Roseland 88 the night before.
The event is headlined by a match between former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson taking on grappling veteran Jake Shields. Bellator MMA light heavyweight contender King Mo Lawal takes on submission specialist Vinny Magalhaes in the co-main event.
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“The mantra is: How do we figure out who the greatest alive is?” Sonnen told FloCombat.com. “We’re going to bring in all the smoke and mirrors and the great production. After that, we’re going to let whoever wants to be a part of this, whoever thinks they could be the greatest alive, to come out and prove it. We’re not going to lobby people to participate, and it won’t be invite only. We’re simply creating the environment.”
The event also features former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez, as well as former lightweight champion Jens Pulver. The Ultimate Fighter 1 alum and current Fox Sports analyst Kenny Florian is also slated to compete on the July 17 event.
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