This Month’s MMA Birthdays: Chael Sonnen Turns 40

By Brian Knapp Apr 3, 2017

No one in mixed martial arts history has mastered the art of trash talking any better than Chael Sonnen. The self-professed “Gangster of West Linn” celebrates his 40th birthday on April 3.

Sonnen spent much of his career as a hired gun, though his lengthy resume includes wins over Renato Sobral, Paulo Filho, Brian Stann, Mauricio Rua and reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping. The Team Quest mainstay emerged as one of MMA’s premier middleweights in 2009, when he rattled off consecutive victories against Dan Miller, Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt. Suddenly, he was the No. 1 contender for then-champion Anderson Silva’s middleweight throne. Sonnen built heat for their showdown with provocative insults and verbal barbs, their rivalry reaching its crescendo at UFC 117 on Aug. 7, 2010 in Oakland, California. He spent four-plus rounds overwhelming Silva with takedowns and ground-and-pound before “The Spider” submitted him with a triangle armbar to retain his title in the fifth round. They fought again a little less than two years later, as Silva stopped the Milwaukie, Oregon, native with a knee to the body and follow-up punches in Round 2. Sonnen has gone 1-3 since (Vegas odds).

A onetime NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Oregon, Sonnen’s next assignment comes as a Bellator MMA headliner on pay-per-view. He has been slotted opposite Wanderlei Silva in the Bellator 180 main event on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York (online betting) .

Others in MMA celebrating a birthday during the month of April:

APRIL 1

Vitor Belfort, 40
Derek Campos, 29
Ramsey Nijem, 29

APRIL 2

Luiz Cane, 36
Cole Konrad, 33
Yi Sak Kim, 31
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, 27
Benedict Ang, 21

APRIL 3

Chael Sonnen, 40
Kazunori Yokota, 39
Travis Reddinger, 35
Su Noto, 32

APRIL 4

Ray Mercer, 56
Stephan Bonnar, 40
Rafael Cavalcante, 37
Brian Foster, 33
Riku Shibuya, 32
Ruben Esparza, 29

APRIL 5

James Wilks, 39
Benji Radach, 38
Jianbing Yang, 33

APRIL 6

Marcus Brimage, 32
Geje Eustaquio, 28
Doo Ho Choi, 26

APRIL 7

David Baggett, 37
Russ Miura, 36
Michael Page, 30

APRIL 8

Ovince St. Preux, 34
Andrew Sanchez, 29
Milana Dudieva, 28
Manny Lozoya, 28
Taylor Lapilus, 25

APRIL 9

Bernard Ackah, 45
Phil Harris, 34
Andrew McInnes, 32

APRIL 10

Luis Alberto Nogueira, 35
Sakae Kasuya, 34
Michal Materla, 33
Shinji Maeguchi, 32
James Moontasri, 29

APRIL 11

Gary Quan, 46
Krasimir Mladenov, 31
Kailin Curran, 26

APRIL 12

Nobuhiko Takada, 55
Roman Savochka, 39
Gilbert Melendez, 35
Robert Whiteford, 34
Brent Primus, 32
Tiago dos Santos e Silva, 30
Rick Glenn, 28

APRIL 13

Emi Tomimatsu, 35
Ben Saunders, 34
Mehdi Baghdad, 32
Yuko Oya, 30
Justine Kish, 29

APRIL 14

Ebenezer Fontes Braga, 48
Anderson Silva, 42
Jessica Rakoczy, 40
Anthony Hamilton, 37
Jussier da Silva, 32

APRIL 15

Enson Inoue, 50
Kenichi Hattori, 39
Leonardo Guimaraes, 35
Magomed Saadulaev, 33
Gabrielle Holloway, 27

APRIL 16

Jason Norwood, 33
Nate Diaz, 32
Pat Audinwood, 31
Alexandre Pantoja, 27
April Osenio, 23

APRIL 17

Benjamin Smith, 37
Martin Kampmann, 35
Tyron Woodley, 35
Siyar Bahadurzada, 33

APRIL 18

Jan Finney, 37
Ion Pascu, 35
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, 33

APRIL 19

Farkhad Sharipov, 33
Kelli Gottardo, 30
Pascal Krauss, 30

APRIL 20

Dean Storey, 49
Sheila Bird, 41
Moise Rimbon, 40
Daiju Takase, 40
Nate Marquardt, 38
Tyson Griffin, 33

APRIL 21

Kajan Johnson, 33
Ronny Markes, 29
Alex Oliveira, 29
Adriano Moraes, 28

APRIL 22

Eric Schambari, 39
Alonzo Martinez, 33
Lena Ovchynnikova, 30

APRIL 23

Josh Bryant, 37
Diego Saraiva, 35
Sam Stout, 33

APRIL 24

Marcio Cruz, 39
Achmed Labasanov, 39
Cosmo Alexandre, 35
Shoji Maruyama, 34
Alan Belcher, 33
Germaine de Randamie, 33
Nick Hein, 33
Michael Chandler, 31

APRIL 25

Kazuo Misaki, 41
Alexandre Ferreira, 38
Clifford Starks, 36
LaRue Burley, 33
Paul Felder, 32
T.J. Waldburger, 29
Enrique Barzola, 28
Leonardo Mafra Texeira, 28

APRIL 26

David Abbott, 52
Megumi Fujii, 43
Carlos Condit, 33
Cole Miller, 33
Bartosz Fabinski, 31
Marlon Moraes, 29

APRIL 27

Paul Cressaty, 46
Luke Cummo, 37
Justin Wren, 30

APRIL 28

Leopoldo Serao, 38
Takasuke Kume, 32
Jonavin Webb, 28

APRIL 29

Raymond Daniels, 37
Valerie Letourneau, 34
Dustin Hazelett, 31

APRIL 30

Jeff Joslin, 42
Yoel Romero, 40
Jimmy Yabo, 36
Al Iaquinta, 30
Kinberly Tanaka Novaes, 26
Smealinho Rama, 25
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