TMZ: Felony Charge Against Chael Sonnen Dropped in Las Vegas Battery Case

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 1, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20:  Chael Sonnen attends Build to discuss Bellator MMA at Build Studio on June 20, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
Desiree Navarro/WireImage

Nevada prosecutors dropped six of the 11 charges filed against former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen following a December altercation at a Las Vegas hotel.

TMZ Sports reported Friday the one felony charge Sonnen faced, battery by strangulation, was dropped along with five counts of misdemeanor battery. He still faces five other misdemeanor charges.

Sonnen was initially issued five battery citations after the alleged Dec. 18 attack. Court documents filed in the case alleged he "choked a man, punched and/or struck a woman and punched and/or kneed others in the head and face" as part of an assault on six people, per TMZ.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department public information officer Larry Hadfield told MMA Fighting's Steven Marrocco and Shaun Al-Shatti that Sonnen wasn't arrested because the alleged assaults happened outside of a police officer's presence.

The initial charges were "dismissed by court without prejudice" in January, which allowed for prosecutors to refile the case at a future date.

They did so last week when they filed the 11 charges, including the felony count.

The Clark County District Attorney's office hasn't commented on the decision to drop six of the charges, per TMZ.

Sonnen told officers he took a sleeping pill and "could not recall" anything that happened on the night in question, according to TMZ.

The next court date for the case is scheduled for April 27.

Sonnen, 44, last fought in June 2019 when he lost to Lyoto Machida at Bellator 222. He was a member of the UFC roster from 2009 through 2013, highlighted by fights for the middleweight and light heavyweight championships.

He'd worked as an ESPN MMA analyst since 2014, but the company announced in March he wouldn't appear on its programming while it reviewed the charges against him.

He's continued to host the You're Welcome! With Chael Sonnen podcast as the legal process plays out.