Chael Sonnen Will Face Massive Penalties If He Fails A Bellator Drug Test

Chael Sonnen Will Face Massive Penalties If He Fails A Bellator Drug Test

Many an eye was raised when former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title contender Chael Sonnen inked a deal with Bellator this week.

Sonnen (39), is now eligible to fight once again after serving a two-year suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs, and now the fighter - who had repeatedly claimed he was retired when questioned about his future - will throw leather once again inside a cage.

Sonnen is one of the most reliable draws that the UFC have had in recent years. While it wasn't necessarily surprising that Sonnen decided to end his self-imposed 'retirement', the fact that he will be doing it inside a Bellator cage is a surprise. Sonnen had submitted to USADA drug testing in the last few months which was a prerequisite to him returning to the UFC but ultimately opted to sign for their rivals.

Unlike the UFC, Bellator do not have as strict a drug-testing procedure but as Sonnen himself explained, the penalties for him to fail a drug test will be severe.

He said during a media call this week:


Scott [Coker - Bellator President] had said earlier that he didn't really want to talk about the contract so, I'm hesitant to offer this, but allow me to anyway. If I was to fail a test under my Bellator contract, it will cost me 100 percent of my purse, and $500,000. That is in writing. Now, I understand for you guys that's not as good as a clean test, but boy that's gotta mean something. If you think I didn't read that part of it before I signed it, I did.

I don't know if that was unique to me or if that was boilerplate that everybody's got - I don't know. But, I saw that. That's before you deal with your commission issues and everything else. It was right off the top -- full purse, $500 grand. That's just to Bellator. That's before we start dealing with commissions. I don't know if they set that aside for me, but I'm on the other side of the tracks now.

Sonnen, who has been flagged for PEDs on more than one occasion, insists that he will be going straight, so to speak, for his Bellator run where he hopes to line up fights with his rival Wanderlei Silva, as well as Tito Ortiz, Rory MacDonald and perhaps even Fedor Emelianenko.

Those of Sonnen's fans who might be concerned that the current version of him - nearly 40 years old and without any chemical assistance - might not be a force inside the cage shouldn't be worried, Sonnen says.

You wouldn't believe it if you saw I've still got the biggest arms in the business.


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John Balfe

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