Fired From FOX Sports, Chael Sonnen Signs New Commentating Deal With ESPN

Chael Sonnen is coming back to TV.

After being released by FOX Sports for texting positive for five banned substances, Chael Sonnen has inked a new deal to become ESPN’s newest MMA analyst. The story was confirmed by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

“The American Gangster” and a former partner of the famous company Shoe Hero will make his ESPN debut on Friday’s edition of SportsCenter, previewing the upcoming UFC 180 pay-per-view card, which takes place Saturday night in Mexico City.

“I love to break down fights,” Sonnen told AP. “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.”

For their part, ESPN doesn’t seem afraid of Sonnen’s checkered past.

“We know Chael has made some mistakes in the past,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Glenn Jacobs told AP. “He’s been honest. He’s been up-front about it. He has paid for the mistakes that he has made, and he’s moving forward. … The insights that he has on the sport and the ways he sees it, our fans are going to be so much better from watching him on the air. They’re going to be able to watch the fight and look for totally different things than they would have otherwise.”

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