UFC fighter Chael Sonnen retires after drug test flub
MANILA, Philippines - Days after news broke that he had failed a random drug test last month in Las Vegas, UFC fighter Chael Sonnen is hanging his gloves following 17 years in mixed martial arts.
Sonnen broke the news from his analyst’s chair during the latest edition of UFC Tonight on Thursday morning (PHI Time).
"I want to take an opportunity to officially announce my retirement from competitive mixed martial arts," he said.
According to the test conducted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), the banned substances Anastrozole and Clomiphene were found in the system of the 37-year-old West Linn, Oregon native.
Anastrozole is typically utilized to treat and prevent early stages of breast cancer, while Clomiphene is mainly used for cases involving female infertility.
The former NCAA Division I wrestler cited health concerns as the reason behind his decision to undergo the medicinal practice and pointed out that the positive results were a product of him taking fertility medication to help taper off the testosterone replacement therapy.
NSAC voted unanimously last February 27 to prohibit therapeutic-use exemptions for the aforementioned treatment, which affected potential first-time applicants as well as previous users, who would not be granted new exceptions when they apply for a renewed permit to compete in the state.
“This was out-of-competition testing. This has never happened to me. I’m only the third athlete ever that had to go through this. There’s also a bit of an expectation on my behalf that the commission will understand as I’m transitioning off testosterone as we’ve talked about a number of times. In the meanwhile, my wife and I were having problems with fertility. This is a matter of health, and this is a matter of being a parent and being able to live the next chapter of my life,” Sonnen explained.
Sonnen leaves the sport with 43 professional bouts and a 28-14-1 record, including a 7-7 win-loss card inside UFC’s Octagon.
In addition, the 6-foot-1 grappler holds notable victories over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Michael Bisping, Brian Stann, Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami.
“The American Gangster” was last seen in action this past November at UFC 167, where he was stopped by Rashad Evans in their light heavyweight bout.
Sonnen’s 35 takedowns scored in middleweight matches are the most in UFC divisional history, whereas his 1,300 total strikes landed at the 185-pound weight class rank second all-time in the organization.
Due to his unique ability to sell fights, Sonnen had the rare chance to vie for the world title three times, but he came up short as he yielded to former middleweight titlist Anderson Silva twice (UFC 117, UFC 148) and to reigning light heavyweight king Jon Jones as well (UFC 159).
The self-proclaimed “People’s Champion” took the time to acknowledge Silva’s role in building him up as one of the most popular competitors in MMA.
"I couldn't have got to where I am without this dance partner, and it’s of course you, Anderson Silva. Thank you for the opportunity, thank you for the memories, thank you for the invitation to the barbecue, even though I didn’t take you up on it," Sonnen said. - Rappler.com