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Ralek Gracie: Metamoris ‘a perfect fit’ for Chael Sonnen

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Chael Sonnen retired from MMA, but he has a no-gi match coming up against grappling wizard Andre Galvao in August.

Metamoris 4 is scheduled for the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., on August 9, and Metamoris president Ralek Gracie believes that competing in a no-gi match against a guy like Galvao was "a perfect fit" for the former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title contender.

"I think Chael, given everything that was happening with the UFC, I thought it would be an interesting way for him to keep himself active and keep himself interested in something that brings him to his roots in a lot of ways," Gracie said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "It really was kind of a perfect fit for him be able to say ‘you know what, I’m having trouble with the commission in the MMA industry, (so) it would be a great opportunity for me to do something at Metamoris and have a chance to do something.’

"From a professional standpoint, he hasn’t competed in anything grappling or wrestling-oriented, or at least we haven’t seen it in a while. I think that for him to be able to do something like that just kinds of grounds everything for him. For us to facilitate it for him it’s even cooler. I think that the timing and everything the way that it’s working just couldn’t be better."

Metamoris’ last show featured the long-awaited rematch between Royler Gracie and Eddie Bravo in March, and Ralek wanted to top that.

"We’re excited, man. It’s gonna be a really good card. It has been an interesting process," he said. "Like you said, people are wondering what’s going to happen with M4, what are we gonna do. Coming off Royler and Eddie was a tricky thing for us to kind of figure out what directions we should go in, what kind of fights people would wanna see next."

"We figured doing something with someone like Chael vs. Andre Galvao. That’s such a huge stylistic kind of battle there," he continued. "There’s so much to Chael, obviously the way he approaches his matches and the controversy he brings with his whole style. I think that, aside from that, the way he kind of comes through and very suddenly may pull something off, he may come in and really surprise people. That kind of energy I really appreciate. It could be a really cool thing."

Sonnen announced his retirement after testing positive for anastrozole and clomiphene and being suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission, but that won’t stop him from competing at Metamoris 4 main event.

"I don’t really know what the situation is with the commission. I’m not the most educated person when it comes to PED," Gracie said. "I have a long way to go as far as figuring all that."

Ralek Gracie also doesn’t think steroids would help a fighter win at Metamoris.

"In my school of thought that, man, it’s grappling," he said. "You having to go in there and move yourself against another person and create an opening. And I come from a school of thought that it doesn’t matter how strong you are, it doesn’t matter what you take the week before. There’s always a possibility of someone having a better technique, having a better timing, or having a better ability to capitalize on somebody’s mistake. I believe in that."

"And from what I know, he was allowed to take testosterone replacement therapy for a certain time and then he wasn’t. That’s what I heard," he continued. "And when I’m thinking this, man, that’s irrelevant. Chael can go and roll with half of the black belts I know and get them in serious trouble."

Ralek Gracie officially announced six Metamoris 4 match-ups on The MMA Hour, and he announced one of the bouts without even saying the fighter’s names because neither of the fighters knows who they are going to face.

"The two guys in the secret match won’t even know who their opponent is," he said. "They’re out there. People know who they are. I was talking to a guy and he was like ‘man, I don’t know, that’s weird. Training for somebody I don’t know.’ And I said ‘that’s the point.’"

Andre Galvao takes on Chael Sonnen in the main event, and the other match-ups are Saulo Ribeiro vs. Comprido Medeiros, Dean Lister vs. Josh Barnett, Keenan Cornelius vs. Vinny Magalhaes, and Kit Dale vs. Garry Tonon.

There is no word yet on where Metamoris 4 will air live after last edition’s online pay-per-view. Gracie said they are not in talks with UFC Fight Pass now that Sonnen is on the card, but they are "open to just about anything."