He’s one of the most popular fighters in the UFC and dubs himself “everybody’s favorite bad guy” or the “American Gangster.” And now, the always witty Chael Sonnen, has once again drawn controversy for testing positive for two banned substances.
Yesterday’s news brought shock waves in the MMA world, when ESPN first reported that Sonnen tested positive for the banned substances anastrozole and clomiphene, which are used to help maintain estrogen levels in women and for infertility. For men, their use is grossly different, helping those using Performance Enhancing Drugs to come off their cycle.
As a result, Sonnen was pulled from UFC 175 in a match against Vitor Belfort, but a rising question among fans is: Is there a double standard in the UFC?
To put quite simply — yes.
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In an interview with Fox Sports, UFC President Dana White said he wasn’t surprised, “My reaction isn’t shock… Both (the Nevada State Athletic Commission and Sonnen) are at fault. There will be effects of stopping TRT cold turkey. It just doesn’t work that way.”
Sonnen addressed the issue as well (watch the full Fox Sports interview here) and the “Richard Nixon” of MMA was able to use his fast talk and jargon to explain himself without saying much.
This isn’t Sonnen’s first rodeo at explaining himself — he’s been suspended for taking PED’s in the past and has also been convicted of money laundering.
Even after these negative incidents (and a record of 3-4 since 2010), it should come as no surprise that White and the UFC have stuck by Sonnen’s side.
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Sonnen has made the UFC a lot of money by building up fights; two with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and one with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones which did a total of over 2 million Pay Per View buys.
The UFC has released fighters with far better records than Sonnen (Jake Shields, Jon Fitch) and fighters that have far less transgressions; most recently Jason High who shoved a referee after a loss, but quickly apologized after.
And still, Sonnen’s personality and promotion of the UFC has his employer scratching his back, which I have no issue with.
Yes, it is a double standard, but there are and will always be double standards in life, and as most of you know, life isn’t fair.
As a quarterback in high school, I can remember feeling sick on game day. I went to my coach, told him I wasn’t feeling well and he wrote me a note excusing me from classes and sending me to the nurses office so I could sleep. In college, while on the football team, we were given brand new cars for one year of use — free. (It was a promotion for a new car line and there was an exemption where it was okay.)
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All that was on a small level. If you look at the major sports stars, you see stars using PED’s, committing crimes — including domestic assault and even manslaughter — yet they are still able to play, depending on their value to their teams.
So, the UFC standing by Sonnen, is nothing more than loyalty to a star that has made them a lot of money, always willing to take a fight, and the biggest hype man in MMA.
Double standard? Yes. Fair? No. Do I have a problem with it? Negative — I’d be a hypocrite to say otherwise.
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