Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground (SUG) has been one of jiu-jitsu’s most steady promotions, putting on shows, often monthly, that involve some of the best grapplers in the world. On Tuesday, Sonnen, as well as the promotion’s official Instagram page, hinted that SUG would soon be ending its partnership with UFC Fightpass and would be moving to FloGrappling.
First, SUG posted a report from Ariel Helwani stating that SUG’s contract with UFC Fightpass is up at the end of 2021, and the promotion would find a new broadcast home in 2022.
An obvious potential home for SUG is FloGrappling, which is currently the premier subscription service for sport jiu-jitsu and submission grappling. Sonnen then tweeted (somewhat) cryptically, indicating that FloGrappling will in fact be where SUG lands.
SUG 1 took place in July 2016; the promotion’s next show, SUG 29, is set to go down on December 12 and will be headlined by a match between current UFC middleweight contender Sean Strickland and SUG veteran Andy Varela.
SUG is a unique submission grappling promotion in several ways. The matches take place inside a circular cage, which allows for cage wrestling. The matches are contested under EBI rules with a five-minute regulation period. The promotion had made its name by welcoming high-level MMA fighters into submission grappling, often with the MMA fighters facing professional grapplers. Well-known fighters such as Jon Jones, Dan Henderson, Phil Baroni, and Mike Perry have all competed at SUG. Additionally, elite jiu-jitsu players like Craig Jones, Mason Fowler, and Roberto Jimenez have competed at SUG.
While Sonnen is known for histrionics and he may just be trying to get some attention, it seems likely that SUG is in fact moving to FloGrappling in 2022.