Report: Chael Sonnen Contacted Randy Couture as Possible Metamoris Replacement

A defeated Chael Sonnen is seen after losing to Champion Jon Jones in their UFC 159 Mixed Martial Arts light heavyweight title bout in Newark, N.J., Saturday, April 27,2013.  Jones retained his title via  first round TKO. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press
John HeinisSenior Analyst IAugust 5, 2014

Former three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen is still supposed to headline Metamoris 4, an unsanctioned grappling event, on Saturday, but apparently he wanted to make sure promoter Ralek Gracie had a Plan B just in case. 

The American Gangster reached out to friend and former training partner Randy Couture about possibly filling in for him against Andre Galvao, according to a report from C.J. Tuttle of Sherdog.

As of Tuesday, Metamoris officials told Sherdog.com that they still expect Sonnen to compete on Saturday. ... Due to previous obligations, which include an “Expendables 3” press junket on Saturday and Sunday and the Los Angeles premiere of the film on Monday -- as well a “Gym Rescue” premiere on Sunday -- Couture simply could not clear his schedule enough to compete at Metamoris in place of Sonnen. 

Sonnen's status for Metamoris 4 is in jeopardy since the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which issued the fighter a two-year ban last week, threatened to fine the retired MMA fighter $250,000 per failed drug test if he competed in the no-gi grappling contest. 

For those keeping track at home, Sonnen tested positive for five banned substances in two recent failed drug tests, which would mean a 20-minute grappling contest could cost him a whopping $1.25 million, per MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani.

Popular MMA Twitter personality Front Row Brian, a known friend of Sonnen's, indicated that the former two-time All-American wrestler would compete for free to fulfill his obligations to the event and avoid further conflict with the NSAC. 

So that's the story. Chael willing to compete for free so he won't let @RalekGracie down.

— FrontRowBrian (@FrontRowBrian) August 4, 2014

In the past, athletic commissions typically only regulate combat sports that involve striking such as boxing, kickboxing and MMA. 

Furthermore, Gracie said he has not had any communication with the NSAC regarding the possible sanctions awaiting Sonnen if he competes in California on Saturday, per MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz.

Should Sonnen be able to compete in a no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu contest without any hassle, or is the NSAC simply trying to enforce the rules here?


John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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