Chael Sonnen has a new television gig. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Chael Sonnen has been hired as an analyst by the world’s leading sports network, ESPN, four months after being relieved of his duties at Fox Sports.
According to an Associated Press report, Sonnen will make his first appearance for ESPN during the lead-in to this weekend’s UFC 180 pay-per-view. Going forward, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor will appear on ESPN’s flagship “Sportscenter” program to provide insights and analysis.
“I love to break down fights. I love to watch them. The fact that ESPN will allow me to do that on the air in a fancy suit and call it a job, it’s what I would be doing at home anyway,” Sonnen told The Associated Press. “I had stubbed my toe pretty bad. I knew it, and I was willing just to take my medicine and go away. But when the phone call (from ESPN) came in, I was very quick to answer.”
Sonnen refers to his unceremonious departure from the UFC and Fox following two failed drug tests for two different banned substances. While it originally seemed as if he would remain a member of the Fox broadcast team after his initial failed test, the second instance marked the end of his run with the network.
Sonnen maintains that he will not refrain from addressing his mistakes when on the air.
“I wouldn’t shy away from a topic, even if it’s one that brought me shame. There are topics like that, and there are opponents I’m going to have to cover that have also embarrassed themselves, but that’s part of the sport, man. I cherish those moments,” Sonnen told The Associated Press.
The West Linn, Ore., native was last seen in action against Andre Galvao on Aug. 9 for submission grappling promotion Metamoris. Sonnen recently launched his own podcast, “You’re Welcome,” hosting such guests as Georges St. Pierre and Chris Leben.