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Chael Sonnen receives Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt

Chael Sonnen has been awarded his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Portland.

Celebrities Attend UFC 170 - Rousey v McMann Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Three-time UFC title challenger and current Bellator heavyweight Chael Sonnen has got something new to celebrate. Over the weekend, “The American Gangster” earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the Gracie Barra branch in Portland, Oregon.

His rank was awarded by instructor Fabiano Scherner.

Sonnen’s grappling background goes as far back in his collegiate years at the University of Oregon, where he wrestled and developed a Greco-Roman style. He went on to train in Gi jiu-jitsu in 2014 at Gracie Barra in Portland, and had not stopped ever since.

In 2017, he competed in a super fight at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) against world champion Leo Vieira in Espoo, Finland. Sonnen won via referee decision, but ended up losing in his next match against Craig Jones via heelhook.

As for his MMA career, Sonnen last fought at Bellator 208 in October against Fedor Emelianenko as part of the company’s eight-man heavyweight tournament. He lost via first-round TKO.