Chael Sonnen remained a fixture in the world of MMA news when the UFC and FOX released him on Monday following a second failed drug test.
On Tuesday, UFC President Dana White spoke about the decision he and the UFC were faced with after learning of Sonnen’s second failed test. The fighter already had been pulled from Saturday’s UFC 175 with the first failure, which led to his retirement from MMA.
But the second failed random test was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and the three-time title challenger was not only cut from his analyst duties with FOX Sports, but was released from the UFC entirely.
“It’s never easy making a decision like this,” White told “America’s Pregame” on FOX Sports 1 on Tuesday night. “Chael’s a person that I personally care about. I know a lot of people at FOX care about him, too. The guy had four banned substances in his system leading up to a fight here in Las Vegas. It’s a tough one – it’s one of those hard decisions you’ve got to make. It’s something we had to do.”
Sonnen (28-14-1) announced his retirement from MMA on June 11, shortly after a first failed drug test was announced in Nevada. He announced his retirement on FOX Sports 1's “UFC Tonight,” the weekly show he was co-host of alongside Kenny Florian.
Sonnen was randomly tested in late May in Las Vegas ahead of a scheduled UFC 175 fight against what was supposed to be Wanderlei Silva. Silva skipped out on a random test and was pulled from the fight; Vitor Belfort stepped in for him, but was left without an opponent when Sonnen was pulled after his failed test.
On June 17, Sonnen was temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a move stemming from the first failed test.
On Saturday, it was reported that Sonnen failed a second test on June 5, and two additional banned substances were found in his system.
Sonnen, a 37-year-old Oregon native, also ran afoul with drug testing after his first fight with Anderson Silva, when he failed to properly disclose his use of testosterone-replacement therapy to the California State Athletic Commission. His approved use of TRT after that made him one of the sport’s poster boys for doctor-prescribed testosterone in cases where fighters’ natural levels of the hormone were below the standard.