Chael Sonnen has just competed in Metamoris 6 where he had an uneventful draw with Renato Babalu Sobral. Sonnen spent most of the match in Babalu’s guard.
Sonnen, who just turned 38, talked to mmafighting.com about his dream of making it to the 2016 Rio Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling. His old nemesis in MMA, Anderson Silva has also announced that he will try to qualify for the Brazilian Taekwondo Olympic team.
Sonnen has a decorated wrestling career where he earned All-American honors, was a two-time PAC-10 runner-up, was a silver medalist at the 2000 Greco-Roman World University Championships, and was a two-time Dave Schultz Memorial Institutional Greco-Roman winner. In 1996, Sonnen began training in boxing, and had wanted to compete in the UFC upon graduating from high school. In 2000, he had placed third in the Olympic trials in the 85 kilogram division. He said that at his age, the idea of his making the Olympic team may be far-fetched, so his goal was just to get to the trials and place.
“I’ve been back in the (wrestling) room, in a college workout room and I’ve been practicing Greco-Roman wrestling,” he said. “I’ve got a long way to go is as plain as I can say it. The dream had a big light at the end of the tunnel, but the light is getting smaller, even if the dream is just as big. Maybe I’m fooling myself. I need to get more committed. My body got out of shape. I hadn’t done Greco-Roman since 2003, and it’s a different sport. I’m in there with 18 to 23 year olds trying to get through a two-hour workout. My workouts are getting longer and the scores are getting closer, but it’s still a big gap.”
He also talked about competing in Metamoris 6 in an empty room with no crowd and how it reminded him of the ADCC in 2001:
“Abu Dhabi was an extremely well run event that nobody comes to,” he said. “I went in 2001. We were in a huge stadium, a huge empty stadium. Nobody was there and nobody was allowed in. There was the Sheikh and a few of his friends sitting way up top. Bruce Buffer was brought in to do the ring announcing in English even though there was nobody in the building except the six guys who didn’t speak English.”