Call Him “Professor:” Chael Sonnen Promoted to Black Belt

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Former UFC villain, current Bellator fighter, and longtime mixed martial arts commentator and personality Chael Sonnen has joined the upper ranks of jiu-jitsu. The athlete was promoted to black belt at Gracie Barra’s Portland location on Friday night.

Now 41, Sonnen began his professional MMA career back in 1997, fighting his way onto the UFC roster in 2005 but facing multiple submission losses which drove his interest in learning the art of jiu-jitsu. (Sonnen was previously a NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Oregon.) In 2009 he graduated to UFC spotlight bouts, going on to face names like Michael Bisping, Anderson Silva,and Jon Jones. Sonnen excels at fight hyping and trash talk, and quickly became one of the most recognizable (and quotable) personalities in the UFC. During this time he also became an ADCC superfight winner and founded Submission Underground. He most recently appeared in the ring back in October 2018, in a loss to Fedor Emilianenko.

Sonnen was received his brown belt from Fabiano Scherner in October 2017.

Oss to the “American Gangster.”

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Kimberly Kaye

Kimberly Kaye is a blue belt under Plinio Cruz now training BJJ and Muay Thai out of NOLA MMA. When she’s not being choked or kicked by large Louisianians, she’s a student of integrative medicine/nutrition at FCMA and rehabilitator of deaf bully breed dogs no one else wants. Kimberly coexists with the rare diseases CIPO and Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, and is an advocate for disabled individuals in the martial arts community and world at large.

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