Chael Sonnen, Jim Ross to Commentate Battleground MMA PPV in October

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst ISeptember 3, 2014

UFC mixed martial arts fighter Chael Sonnen, left, during a news conference in San Francisco, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Two of the most colorful characters on the microphone in recent memory are set to team up and announce an MMA pay-per-view next month. 

Chael Sonnen, a two-time UFC title challenger and former Fox Sports analyst, and Jim Ross—a WWE Hall of Famer who called pro wrestling for nearly four decades—are set to commentate Battleground MMA on October 3, per MMA Fighting

The show harkens back to the old days of mixed martial arts, with an eight-man tournament in the welterweight division. The tournament features six  former UFC fighters, in Dennis Hallman (53-15-2), Brock Larson (37-8), Roan Carneiro (17-9), Luigi Fiorvanti (24-11), Cody McKenzie (15-4) and David Mitchell (14-4). Also in the tournament is former Strikeforce fighter Trey Houston (10-2) and two-time All-American wrestler Chris Honeycutt (4-0).

Ross, named Announcer of the Year 14 times, retired from the sports entertainment business about a year ago and immediately expressed an interest in commentating MMA fights on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour

The Battleground MMA event will mark the first time Ross calls the action inside the cage. 

The card will also be the first time Sonnen calls a pay-per-view event, though he did a ton of pre-fight and post-fight analysis when working for Fox Sports. 

However, after a debacle where "The American Gangster" failed two consecutive drug tests for performance-enhancing drugs, Sonnen had his Fox Sports/UFC broadcasting contract terminated, per Yahoo Sports

Battleground MMA takes place at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is headlined by a lightweight contest between Ryan Couture and Jonny Carson.

Will Ross and Sonnen end up being a color commentary team for the ages or will their personalities not mesh well and be a total flop as an announcing pair?


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