Last night (August 13, 2014), Bloodyelbow.com reported that the “American Gangster” himself, Chael Sonnen, had finally come out and explained his actions regarding his recent failed drug tests. Sonnen appeared on Chris Jericho’s “Talk is Jericho” podcast and admitted that he knew exactly what he was doing, stating, “I knew what I was doing I thought I could have my cake and eat it too.”
Sonnen also said he was not taking any type of steroids, he was taking prescriptions from doctors; however, he was fully aware they were banned substances. Sonnen recently failed two drug tests that forced him out of his UFC 175 bout and ultimately persuaded him to retire from the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). This situation brings up the question of how the MMA community will remember Sonnen.
Before these recent drug test failures, we may have remembered Sonnen as the one who put arguably the greatest fighter of all time, Anderson Silva, to the ultimate test, battering him for four-and-half rounds and nearly taking “The Spider’s” middleweight strap home with him in the process.
Or possibly we would remember when he submitted Brazilian legend “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 last year. Above all we would remember his notorious trash talking. After all, it was his talking that earned him a light heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 159 in April 2013.
But now what?
Will MMA fans remember The “American Gangster” as purely a cheater, a fighter that gave a bad image to a sport that was already highly criticized to begin with?
Fans may also question how good Sonnen really was. How much did he cheat and for how long? Sonnen himself believes that people always forgive those who come clean:
“People are forgiving when you’re honest… If I could ever advise someone who is in my shoes, just come clean.”
Will the fans be on his side? Was he really just a “bad guy” after all? Only time will tell in this ever-evolving world of MMA.