UFC President Dana White came to Chael Sonnen’s defense, calling the California State Athletic Commission’s decision to suspend the MMA fighter indefinitely unfair. White told Heavy.com:
“Listen, it’s not that he’d have to retire, but right now was his opportunity. This kid had the opportunity to coach The Ultimate Fighter, he had the opportunity to get a big fight set up, should he win that fight. Everybody knows what happened with Anderson Silva, this was a key moment in this kid’s career and me, personally, you’ve heard me say it for the last almost 11 years, we always support whatever the athletic commission says. This kid got it stuck to him, man. He paid his dues in every way shape and form and, I think he’s been treated a bit unfairly.”
I can’t say I’m shocked by Dana White’s reaction to the entire situation simply because Sonnen is a good draw for the UFC. Sonnen is never out of words and his confidence leading up to the showdown against Anderson “The spider” Silva at UFC 117 earned him many new MMA fans.
Sonnen probably wouldn’t live up to White’s expectations as his abilities as an MMA fighter can be legitimately questioned. By his own admission, Sonnen took testosterone since 2008 before finally getting busted by the CSAC. Given the fact Sonnen made his UFC debut in 2009, his solid performances against the likes of Yushin Okami, Nate Marquardt, and Anderson Silva are no longer valid.
Eventually, Sonnen will be able to compete again in the UFC and it will be interesting to see how things go for the 34 year old MMA fighter. Sonnen definitely doesn’t deserve another title shot, given all the information that has come out since his last MMA fight. The right move for the UFC would be to make Sonnen fight a few top contenders before giving him another title shot, but I doubt things will play out this way.
Even though a PED powered Sonnen wasn’t able to defeat Silva, he’ll probably get an automatic title shot when he’s able to compete in MMA again. After all, there are still millions out there who think Sonnen will be the one to slay the Spider.