Dana White: decision to fire Chael Sonnen had to be made


Fired from both FOX and UFC earlier this week, Chael Sonnen has had quite a rough June. Announcing his retirement from professional mixed martial arts due to two failed drug tests which subsequently forced him out of a UFC 175 bout with Vitor Belfort, Sonnen has now also lost his job outside of the cage, where he served as co-host of UFC Tonight and FOX’s pre-UFC shows. Dana White was sad to see Sonnen go, though admitted it was a decision that had to be made for both FOX and UFC.

“It’s a tough one. It’s one of those hard decisions you gotta make. It was definitely a hard one. It was something we had to do.”

The former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight contender, now 37, was seen as a ‘company man’ and will be sorely missed by a huge fanbase. Known for his trash talking and ability to sell a fight, Sonnen has also been on the bad books of the UFC, failing a drug test after a loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 117, and also being involved in money laundering accusations.

Known as a user of TRT prior to it’s abolishing by the NSAC, Sonnen was set to fight for the first time without the treatment at UFC 175 against Vitor Belfort, who replaced Sonnen’s fellow TUF Brazil 3 coach Wanderlei Silva. After failing a first random drug test, Sonnen was taken out of the bout and Belfort was scratched from the card altogether, and ‘The American Gangster’ also failed a second fellow-up test.

As a result, Chael will have no further role in the UFC, as both fighter and presenter, though Dana White explained his attachment to the fighter. A former top 10 at both 185lbs and 205lbs, Sonnen certainly will never be forgotten.

White said,

“You know, its never easy making decisions like this… Chael is a person 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. Four banned substances in his system leading up to a fight here in Las Vegas.”

Chael Sonnen is expected to headline Metamoris 4 in his first professional BJJ contest against Andre Galvao in August.

Tags: Chael Sonnen Dana White Featured Fox Popular TUF Brazil 3 UFC UFC 175 UFC Tonight Vitor Belfort Wanderlei Silva