Chael Sonnen is heading back to the commentary booth. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Chael Sonnen is taking his gift of gab to World Series of Fighting broadcasts, the promotion announced Tuesday.
Sonnen will make his color commentating debut with the organization at WSOF 23, which takes place on Sept. 18 and airs on NBC Sports Network. According to a release, Sonnen has signed on with WSOF for “multiple events” and will work at the broadcast table alongside play-by-play man Todd Harris, a role usually filled by UFC and Pancrase veteran Bas Rutten.
“We are thrilled to have Chael Sonnen, one of the most colorful individuals in professional sports, join our production,” said WSOF President Ray Sefo. “We are confident Chael will enhance the fan viewing experience both for our growing national audience on NBCSN and across the globe by providing the insights he learned competing at the highest level of the sport.”
Sonnen served as a studio analyst on Fox Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight,” but after failing multiple drug tests prior to a proposed bout with Wanderlei Silva last year, both the promotion and the network cut ties with the fighter. ESPN hired Sonnen as a part-time studio analyst in November, a position he continues to hold.
“I am stoked to join the powerhouse team at World Series of Fighting, and call their fights that feature some of the best mixed martial artists on the planet,” Sonnen said in a statement. “World Series of Fighting has done an outstanding job of building their organization into a top-tier franchise in a very short span of time, and I am just proud to be a part of such a fast-growing company.”
The 38-year-old was a three-time title challenger in the UFC, falling twice to Anderson Silva at middleweight and once to Jon Jones at light heavyweight. Sonnen retired in June 2014 after it was revealed he failed a random drug test ahead of UFC 175.
WSOF 23 takes place at Comerica Theater in Phoenix and is headlined by a lightweight title rematch between Justin Gaethje and Luis Palomino. David Branch will face Teddy Holder for the vacant 205-pound belt in the co-main event.