There’s never a dull moment when UFC veteran, Chael Sonnen, opens his mouth, and the “American Gangster” had some interesting things to say about Juan Manuel Marquez’ physical transformation for his fourth fight against Manny Pacquiao.
The bout ended with the Filipino congressman getting knocked out cold during the sixth round of their Dec. 8 encounter.
“Pacquiao got hit by a guy who miraculously went through puberty a second time at 39 years old,” Sonnen said during an interview with Jim Rome, per BloodyElbow.com. “He got hit by a guy that showed up with more power at 39 than he had in any of the previous fights. He had a 6 pack that he never had before. … There’s two tests that you have, Jim. You’ve got the pee test, but you’ve also got the visual test. When you take your robe off and you get in the ring that’s your first test. And to act as if all of us didn’t go, ‘Something’s going on there.'”
Of course, Sonnen didn’t want to accuse Marquez of impropriety without any evidence.
“No, I haven’t said that [he’s on PEDs], but I sure came close, didn’t I?” Sonnen added. “I know that Freddy Roach [Pacquiao’s trainer] did. I know Freddy Roach said, ‘If that body’s clean, I’ll kiss your ass.’ But you gotta understand; all substances aren’t illegal. Did he take something? Sure, he did. Did he take something illegal? Well, according to the test, no. … I just know you don’t go through puberty twice and I’ll leave it at that.”
Interesting comments from a guy who failed his post-fight drug test after fighting Anderson Silva at UFC 117 — the bout which propelled him into superstardom.
Sonnen’s post-UFC 117 sample had elevated testosterone levels, and he was subsequently suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). The Portland native has since been granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (he claims to have naturally low testosterone levels due to hypogonadism), which allows him to undergo testosterone replacement therapy as long as his levels remain within the normal threshold.
If Sonnen had TUE clearance for his UFC 117 bout against Silva, he still would have gotten in trouble with CSAC, considering the fact his 16.9:1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels were way above normal.
Given Sonnen’s past history with PEDs, one would expect him to shy away from conversations about the topic, but that’s not Chael’s style.
He made fun of Alistair Overeem when the Dutchman failed a surprise drug test — which led to the cancellation of his scheduled UFC 146 bout against Junior dos Santos, so his take on Marquez’ physique isn’t that surprising.
Chael Sonnen is currently set to fight light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, on April 27, and he’ll certainly have a lot more polarizing things to say before then.
Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny Sonnen’s sense of humor (when he’s not making fun of an entire nation).
As far as Marquez’ physique goes, it’s possible that the Mexican added the extra muscle without using any banned substances. However, “Dinamita” worked with Angel Hernandez — who was part of the infamous BALCO trial — leading up to his fight against Pacquiao, so his critics do have some basis for their accusations.
Marquez passed the post-fight drug test after his Dec. 8 fight against Pacquiao, which means we’ll never get to know if there was anything shady going on in his camp.
I personally like the idea of Olympic style drug testing becoming the norm in combat sports, but Pacquiao didn’t seem keen on the idea when Floyd Mayweather proposed it during their 2009 negotiations.