In a surprising turn of events, former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title contender Chael Sonnen has failed a random drug test in the state of Nevada, according to NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar (per ESPN). As a result, the UFC Tonight regular has been taken out of his fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 175, who stepped in for Wanderlei Silva after the latter refused to comply with commission demands.
In response to Silva pulling out of their fight, Sonnen publicly attacked the former Pride titleholder and claimed that he ran away from drug testers amid rumours that Wanderlei had been a drug user for most of his career, though had never been caught. This makes this new revelation a rather ironic one, as Silva was never actually caught for any substance, though this is the second time during his UFC stint that Sonnen has failed a drug test.
The UFC responded to the news with the following statement,
“UFC officials acknowledge irregularities in a recent random test. Chael is planning on addressing the matter this afternoon.”
The fight with Belfort had always been in doubt for a number of reasons, though this is the most unpredictable of them all. With ‘The Phenom’ not licensed in Nevada and failing a drug test in the past, as well as a failed random test in February that led to TRT’s abolishing, it seemed unlikely that Belfort would be able to fight at the event.
However, with Belfort passing a number of tests since the February failure, there was always hope. That was until Sonnen stated that he doubted his chances of making 185lbs, and had agreed to the fight at middleweight. With both Belfort and Sonnen going from light heavyweight to middleweight and vice-versa in recent bouts, an agreement seemed far enough after Dana White revealed that he wanted the fight at 185.
The substances in question are Anastrozole and Clomiphene, which are categorised as anti-estrogenics, and Sonnen is now expected to receive a suspension as a result. He will not appeal the results. The former contender revealed that without TRT, he may be forced to retire and, with the failed drug test and at 37 years of age, his future is now in doubt. To add to this a flourishing MMA punditry career and the suspension expected to be given from NSAC, and Sonnen may have fought his last bout inside the Octagon.