UFC President Dana White set the MMA world on fire when he defended the decision of the UFC and Fox Sports to terminate Chael Sonnen's broadcasting contract, but if Sonnen plays his cards right, "The American Gangster" could be back.
In an interview with MMA Fight Corner's Heidi Fang (at the 5:58 mark), White explained that while the chips are down for Sonnen right now, he could feasibly return to working for the promotion (transcription per Mixedmartialarts.com):
"It breaks my heart," [White] said. "I care about Chael very much. Me and Chael have had a very good relationship. Behind the scenes, he's a great guy. And he had four banned substances in his body... The relationship that I have with him, when he took the test, I would expect him to come to me and say 'Hey, listen, I've got some bad news for you.' It sucks ... I care about the guy very much, and hopefully... you know, it all depends on how he handles it. America's a very forgiving place for guys who do the right thing."
Sonnen failed two drug tests within a two-week period, with the more recent failure coming for the performance-enhancing drugs EPO and human growth hormone, per Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting.
That indiscretion cost Sonnen his new career, and the first failed drug screening cost him at least one more big payday inside the cage.
When Sonnen failed the initial drug test, which was administered on May 24, for the anti-estrogenic drugs anastrozole and clomiphene, he was pulled from the UFC 175's co-headlining spot against Vitor Belfort, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
Just 24 hours after the failed test, the three-time UFC title challenger decided to hang up the gloves for good.
Will Sonnen be back behind the desk at UFC Tonight before we know it, or will he actually disappear into obscurity?
John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.