In the midst of what has grown to be the ‘UFC 175 scandal', one of the major players in the situation has suddenly dropped out of the sport. Last night, on UFC Tonight, a show in which Chael Sonnen is a host and analyst, Sonnen officially announced that he is going to retire from competitive Mixed Martial Arts. After being asked by co-host and former UFC fighter, Kenny Florian, Sonnen very quickly broke down his situation with the Nevada State Athletic Commision.
Sonnen claimed that the banned substances that were found in his blood were being used to safely come off his Testosterone Replacement Therapy, a practice that had recently been banned by the NSAC. In the past, Sonnen had been allowed to use TRT, though, now that the rules have been revised and the NSAC banned the practice, he was looking to use a different set a banned substances to eventually ween off any and all drugs he was on. He also claimed that the drugs found in his system were being used to help his fertility, because he and his wife were trying to have a baby.
With all that said, Sonnen took full responsibility for not disclosing the drugs that he was taking with the NSAC, as the rules state. He offered no apology or excuse, simply, and effectively, a statement and explanation of where he was coming from. He then, shockingly, announced his retirement from MMA. Sonnen said it was time to focus on his health and his family, especially now that his wife is pregnant.
Sonnen released a statement on his Facebook page, thanking many people from coaches to commissioners and even is famed rival, Anderson Silva:
“I want to take an opportunity to officially announcement my retirement from competitive mixed martial arts. I had a great time. I want to thank Roy Pittman. I want to thank Dave Sandal. I want to thank my coach Clayton Hires. These guys taught me how fight, they taught me how to persevere and they stood by me through thick and thin. I want to thank FOX, I want to thank the leadership of the UFC. I want to thank a man named Bill Brady, who gave me a second wind if you will. He’s a member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and he believed in me at a time when I really needed somebody too, and I owe the second wind of my career to him. I am proud to call him a friend. I also want to thank the most important opponent I’ve ever had. I couldn’t have got here without this dance partner, and that is of course you, Anderson Silva. Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you for the memories, thank you for the invitation to the barbeque, even though I didn’t take you up on it.”
An elegant ending to a famous career, Sonnen may best be remembered for his brash talking, his insults, his rants and speeches, or his fantastic ability to rhyme and send a message at the same time. One thing is for sure, Sonnen never back away from a fight, he made a career of throwing himself in the line of fire and, win or lose, making big fights happen.
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