Shortly after retiring from mixed martial arts (MMA) -- thanks in part to a failed drug test -- former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight No. 1 contender, Chael Sonnen, agreed to face Andre Galvao in the main event of the upcoming Metamoris 4 jiu-jitsu tournament, which goes down on Aug. 9, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
A surprising move in they eyes of many, seeing as jiu-jitsu isn't exactly "The American Gangster's" specialty. Some -- not Mauricio Rua -- would even go as far as to call it his weakness.
Still, Ralek Gracie, president of Metamoris, says bringing in Sonnen made sense, saying it's a perfect fit for the talented wrestler, as it will keep him busy now that he won't be exchanging punches inside a cage.
"I think Chael, given everything that was happening with the UFC, I thought it would be an interesting way for him to keep himself active and keep himself interested in something that brings him to his roots in a lot of ways. It really was kind of a perfect fit for him be able to say ‘you know what, I'm having trouble with the commission in the MMA industry, (so) it would be a great opportunity for me to do something at Metamoris and have a chance to do something.' From a professional standpoint, he hasn't competed in anything grappling or wrestling-oriented, or at least we haven't seen it in a while. I think that for him to be able to do something like that just kinds of grounds everything for him. For us to facilitate it for him it's even cooler. I think that the timing and everything the way that it's working just couldn't be better."
Sonnen will have a tall task ahead of him, though, as Galvao has proven to be one of the most talented submission specialists in the game today.
The Brazilian is a three-time gold medal winner in at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) tournament to go along with two bronze and one silver medal. Not to mention he has 21 other gold medals in various jiu-jitsu tournaments across the world.
Sonnen, however, will likely have a distinct size advantage on the smaller Galvao.
And with his wrestling credentials to back him up, "The American Gangster" might just be able to surprise a few people.