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Chael Sonnen says TRT ban may force him to quit UFC

Chael SonnenChael Sonnen says quitting the UFC may be a consideration because of the recent new rules about TRT.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced last week that they were no longer allowing TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). Most fighters who have low testosterone levels apply for therapeutic use exemptions to receive the treatment. It was viewed as a way of cheating because the TRT users were believed to be past steroid users whose testosterone levels were only low because of past steroid abuse. UFC boss Dana White said the UFC would try to do the same thing and move towards banning TRT.

When the NSAC first announced the move, Sonnen, who is a TRT user, said he would have to adjust. On Wednesday’s edition of “UFC Tonight,” Sonnen said matter-of-factly that quitting the sport altogether is an option.

“If it doesn’t work, I may have to stop the sport,” Sonnen said. “It’s as simple as that.”

Sonnen I think was saying that more to make a point about notorious TRT user Vitor Belfort needing to adjust rather than himself facing the end, but the point is clear. The TRT ban is a game-changer in MMA. No longer will fighters be able to turn to TRT as an anti-aging option once they get older. If they can’t get by without it, they’re toast.

H/T MMA Junkie

Chael Sonnen paid for a wrestler he didn’t know to train in Russia

Chael SonnenChael Sonnen has created a persona of a loudmouth “bad guy” in the UFC world, but he actually is a pretty good guy away from it. Sonnen comes from a wrestling background and is a huge advocate for the sport. It means so much to him that he even randomly paid for a former US Olympic wrestler to train in Russia a few years ago.

Bloody Elbow’s Mike Riordan shared the story Friday of how Sonnen learned about Beijing Olympian Andy Hrovat’s desire to train in Russia. Hrovat was 28 and did not medal in Beijing, but he wanted to go to North Ossetia — the heart of world-class wrestling — to learn more about the sport from the best in the world. Hrovat went to Russia a few times in 2009, and the coaches told him he should come back and stay longer term so he could really learn more. He did that thanks to some help from Sonnen, whom he actually wrestled in college, though he doubted Sonnen remembered it.

[Related: Chael Sonnen blasts Olympic committee for getting rid of wrestling]

Hrovat recalled to Bloody Elbow that Sonnen contacted him at random following his first fight with Anderson Silva in 2010 to tell him he was going to send him some money.

So after the [Sonnen-Silva fight], I get an email from him saying ‘Hey, I want to send you some money, it’s going to be in an envelope that looks like junk mail, because it was from his bank, his bank just cut a check and sent it and they send them in unmarked envelopes so people don’t steal the mail.

He sent me three or four thousand dollars, and for me every thousand dollars was a month’s pay. Room and board were a thousand dollars a month.

What would possess Sonnen to send a few thousand dollars to a random wrestler he didn’t know? He apparently saw an interview where Hrovat expressed a desire to go train in Russia. Sonnen liked the idea and wanted to contribute, which is why he reached out. Sonnen continued to send money to Hrovat and the two kept in touch via email.

Hrovat didn’t make the London Olympics team, but he learned a lot about wrestling from his time in Russia, and he’s now sharing that knowledge as a coach of the Cliff Keen wrestling club. Sonnen’s investment did not pay off with a medal at the Olympics, but maybe it will help ensure the future of American wrestlers is better thanks to some of the knowledge Hrovat acquired during his training.

Report: Chael Sonnen had colon surgery day before fight with Rashad Evans

Chael SonnenThere are crazy examples of athletes toughing through injuries, and then there are crazy examples of athletes toughing through injuries. If this one is true, it could go to the top of the list.

A new report says Chael Sonnen fought Rashad Evans the day after undergoing an emergency surgery to remove a part of his colon.

Sonnen lost to Evans by TKO late in the first round of their fight at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas. TSN reported on Wednesday that Sonnen underwent surgery to remove inches from his colon on Nov. 15. The subject came up during a taping of TSN’s Off The Record on Wednesday with Sonnen and host Michael Landsberg.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise that you had that information,” Sonnen said when Landsberg brought up the question.

Sonnen did not confirm or deny whether he had the surgery.

Sonnen did not withdraw from his fight despite allegedly undergoing the procedure. He explained his thoughts on sticking to such a commitment.

“When I sign a contract to fight, I’m agreeing to fight a guy on a certain day at a certain time and in a certain venue,” he continued. “It’s my job to feel good when I go out and do it and if I don’t that may play a hand in the fight.”

I applaud Chael for the way he feels about his commitments to fight, but I seriously have a hard time believing this story. I’ve had emergency surgery to remove part of my colon, and I was in an enormous amount of pain the next day and could barely do anything for the next week. I was in a hospital bed recovering after my surgery. I can’t believe any doctor would allow someone to compete in hand-to-hand combat the next day after undergoing such a procedure, and I don’t think someone would be physically capable of fighting the day after such a procedure.

I think some information got twisted here because I really don’t buy this. If he underwent an emergency colonoscopy the day before the fight, I could believe that. That wouldn’t keep someone from being able to fight the next day. But a colectomy? No way I buy that. Show us the medical records, Chael!

Chael Sonnen squeezes in a domestic abuse joke about Rihanna

Chael-SonnenBy now most of us know how Chael Sonnen is. The aging MMA fighter says pretty much whatever is on his mind, no matter how weird it sounds or how much trouble it might get him into. On Monday night, Sonnen somehow squeezed a Rihanna domestic violence joke into a discussion about Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The basis of Sonnen’s argument was that Mayweather is protecting his undefeated record by fighting “tomato cans that nobody has ever heard of.” He used that stance to toss in a tasteless joke that he had clearly rehearsed.

“I’ve never seen anybody in America get so rich and so famous off of having complete wimps throw punches at their face,” Sonnen said of Mayweather. “And I know what you’re saying, ‘Well it’s happened before, what about Rihanna?’”

You can watch a video clip of Sonnen’s comment at Deadspin. He then asked if his joke was “too soon,” to which many people would respond that there will never be a time when joking about beating a woman is acceptable.

Again, this was classic Sonnen. It wouldn’t be as bad if the joke accidentally slipped out, but he’s always looking to create headlines by saying something controversial or completely off the reservation. As this weird exchange with ESPN’s Sage Steele reminded us, Chael loves doing and saying idiotic things on camera.

Chael Sonnen wants Wanderlei Silva, not Vitor Belfort

Chael Sonnen impressed with a first-round submission victory over Shogun Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 on Saturday, and he said he wanted to fight Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1) next. Of course, Sonnen called out Silva in his typical bombastic way after winning his match.

Chael Sonnen“Right here on the UFC’s new home FOX Sports 1 … Wanderlei Silva. Six feet tall and 205 pounds. Boy, until I met you I didn’t know they could stack crap that high,” Sonnen said with a brash combination of humor and disrespect.

“I just got done with a world champion. If you think I want at a middle-aged comedian just for the god-damned pleasure of it, you better think again. Wanderlei Silva, three months, you and the bad guy!”

Silva, 37, beat Brian Stann in his return to light heavyweight in March. Sonnen has long antagonized Silva, though the two have never fought.

Though Sonnen wants to fight Wanderlei, he has some options; Vitor Belfort called out Sonnen over Twitter after watching Chael P. submit Shogun.

[Read more...]

Chael Sonnen admits he and Dan Henderson set up Jon Jones

Jon Jones Chael Sonnen UFC 159Chael Sonnen made a huge admission over the weekend that should change the way fans view the disastrous UFC 151 fight card.

You may recall that UFC 151 was supposed to be headlined by Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson on Sept. 1, 2012. Henderson pulled out of the fight because of a knee injury, and the entire card was cancelled after Jones declined a fight with Sonnen, who would have replaced Hendo on eight days’ notice.

UFC boss Dana White lashed out at Jones for declining the fight. Fans followed White’s lead and ripped Jones. Even I went after Jones for his painfully corporate attitude.

But now we’re seeing that Jones was being set up by Sonnen and Henderson, which isn’t too surprising.

According to MMA Fighting, Sonnen admitted on “UFC Tonight: Fight Edition” on Fuel TV on Sunday that he was tipped off about Hendo and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira’s recent injury, the latter of which allowed him to secure an upcoming fight with Shogun Rua.

[Read more...]

Jon Jones: Chael Sonnen is already half-beaten

Jon Jones Chael Sonnen UFC 159Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen spent the day at ESPN Tuesday to promote their upcoming UFC 159 fight on Saturday in Newark. They each joined multiple shows and spent time conducting multiple interviews. Jones was his typically reserved self, while Sonnen was obnoxious like usual. However, one thing we did notice that was atypical of Sonnen was an expression of self-doubt.

“I don’t know if I can beat Jon Jones,” Sonnen said during an interview with Sage Steele on “SportsCenter.”

“I don’t if I will beat him. I know I can beat him, but I know he can beat me too,” Sonnen continued. “I may go down, but I will go down like a gangster and I will empty my chamber before I do.”

It was surprising to hear such a braggadocios individual allow for the possibility of defeat. Generally, someone entering a title fight will be full of confidence and the belief that they will win. That does not seem to be Sonnen’s mentality.

Jones picked up on that.

Jones said that he’s learned not to be bothered by Sonnen’s big mouth. Instead, he lets his counterpart talk a big game because it serves them both well for purposes of promoting the fight. But Jones also said on “SportsCenter” that he noticed Sonnen’s lack of confidence in interviews. Jones said hearing Sonnen say he doesn’t know if he can win means that the challenger is already “half-beaten.” Jones said being around his opponent has allowed him to see where the challenger is mentally weak. Jones also said Sonnen ranks toward the bottom compared to his last five opponents because he is not a former world champion. He did admit that Sonnen is a “worthy opponent.”

Though Sonnen has been talking a big game, there is an obvious size and ability mismatch here. Couple that with Sonnen’s self-doubt, and I’m expecting this to be an easy win for Jones. If that happens, Dana White likely will not be able to trot out Sonnen for another big fight until he wins some more.