Chael Sonnen Says He Feels Horrible Without TRT, Doctor Says It Will Only Worsen


Life without TRT in the UFC has become a sudden reality for the former recipients of the controversial treatment; the NSAC and UFC’s joint ban of it’s usage sparked a media storm, and caused ‘The Phenom’ Vitor Belfort to drop out of his UFC 173 title fight with Chris Weidman.

Another known patient of testosterone therapy is former light-heavy and middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen. ‘The American Gangster’ denied any wrong doing after his failed drugs test in 2010; claiming his elevated testosterone levels were due to a misunderstanding between the UFC and his doctors.

Now likely in the grips of the infamous cold turkey, Sonnen stopped by to talk with Yahoo Sports about life after TRT:

“It puts me in a spot, because medically, I do need testosterone. I have to look at this carefully, but they made no bones about it: It’s out. We all have to deal with that, whether we like it or not. The best way to describe is that it is a completely terrible, horrible feeling. This is a medicine and it’s medicine I need to live normally on a day-to-day basis.”

Chael P’s discrepancies in the UFC have not cost him too dearly in the form of high profile fights; the Oregon native has since gone on to score two more title shots with his trash-talking take on all comers character. Whether or not he indeed needs the treatment is debatable, though Sonnen thinks that the therapy is not understood by the masses:

“People say it is a performance enhancer, and there are a lot of things guys can take to enhance performance. But testosterone is more than a performance enhancer for me. It is a life enhancer. My life is better. My attitude is better. I have more energy. I need less sleep. It makes me feel better in many different regards. It makes me a better husband and a better neighbor and a better pet owner. I understand the abuse, but this is a medicine that helps people with a problem.””

The primary function of TRT is to aid recovery and muscle repair, whether you like it or not, the treatment is a performance enhancing drug. In my mind, the only other option aside from a ban was the ‘free for all’ option. The UFC would not have retained much legitimacy in creating a mutant MMA league, so the more appropriate ban was handed down.

I have wondered since as to whether the promotion would have kept TRT going if the Nevada State big wigs hadn’t intervened first. The answer to that is for the birds, but the more pertinent question is what will happen when all these high level fighters go at it clean? Practicing Endocrinologist Dr. Goodman spoke with Fightland recently to explain the aftermath of the ban:

“Every single guy whose exemption is getting taken away is going to come up with very low testosterone, and he won’t be able to compete, at least on the level that he might have been competing at. Every guy that goes to the commission and stops getting these exemptions, they’re going to have to get some testosterone to just keep them normal. They won’t be able to compete because their testosterone will just plummet.”

“Their muscle strength will decline. They’ll put on some fat weight. Their moods will become depressive. They’ll have fatigue. It’ll be horrible—I feel bad for them. It’s going to be misery … I’m not saying all guys are going to have serious problems. It depends on what they’ve been on, how much they’ve been taking, what other drugs they’ve been on. It’s a mixed bag.”

Anyone that thinks that the TRT ban will not have a huge affect on it’s former recipients is sorely mistaken. Sonnen seems to already be displaying a number of symptoms listed by the doctor, and his next performance against Wanderlei Silva could be a thoroughly poor showing if he shows up looking like John Candy on meth.

  • Zip

    Then take your 'medicine' Chael, and by all means feel better. Either fight without it or don't fight.

    • I can relate to Chael when ever I run out of certain medications, I feel exactly the way Chael is describing, and it is horrible and almost impossible to do anything other than lie in bed.

      • Same here, I chose a life without going pro in MMA and I accept that I can't do it unless I sacrifice other areas of my life. TRT is bad for the sport. Chael should retire if he needs it.

      • These weaks make no sense, its insight on how your body works wants it gets dependent on certain mediacations and the effects of withdrawals/ and sudden stoppage effect.

        • No, you are right David. They make no sense and they reflect a lack of understanding of the issues and a lack of compassion. Part of it is also the anonymity. People are more likely to "weak" you because they can hide behind a pretend name like a coward.

  • His failed test was a misunderstanding?! Wasn't this man at like 16:1 ratio? wtf kind of misunderstanding was there?

    • Wasn't that Overeem who had that ratio? I'm not 100% sure but i think it was.

      • Overeem might have too but I'm almost 100% Sonnen did. 14:1 or 16:1 I just remember it was absolutely ridiculous.

        • IGMBurninPiff – you do know that his Testosterone to Epitestosterone ratio doesn't reflect his blood level right. You can be low on testosterone and still have a hight T:E ratio. In addition, do you remember the issues surrounding Sonnen's case? His verbal discussion with Keith Kiser and subsequent not filling out the proper form thinking the verbal discussion was enough – that is what "Misunderstanding" refers to. Not to how much testosterone he took.

          Think first, then talk.

          • I dont remember the whole conversation with the commission at his hearings. I know it was all a bunch of bullshit like the rest of the people competing on "TRT" That failed a test roid raging and then suddenly forgot to disclose they were on TRT and got a random doctor to sign off on it.

  • Ivy

    Sounds like some good shit! Where can I get some?

  • Chael is so full of it, these fighters had a choice, and they choose to gain an artificial advantage. Chael got caught abusing TRT already, people forget that, instead of taking his punishment, he exposed the whole loop whole to defend what he did. Then before you know it, fighters like Frank Mir openly spoke about exploring the idea of TRT and the a few months later he had an exemption. Anybody could of got an exemption and the smart fighters, the honest fighters, the clean fighters chose not to.

    Actions have consequences, cause and effect, you reap what you sow…………

    • Chael was never caught abusing TRT. I know facts get in the way of a good character bashing but he was caught not reporting it with the proper forms. There has never been a publishing of his serum testosterone level that I've seen (Not the T:E ratio as this doesn't reflect the blood levels).

      • If it doesn't reflect what your testosterone levels actually are why is the standard 1:1 wouldn't that mean nothing? you're saying the ratio isn't whats important…

  • He needs it to get it up.

  • Just retire, man

  • Have you heard of withdrawal symptoms?

    • Have you ever read the symptoms of hypogonadism or androgen deficiency syndrome? There is no withdrawal from testosterone because it is a fat soluble hormone and is stored in body fat. There is a large store and if you stop abruptly it takes several months for it to be fully used up. That's why the article last week said it would take 3 months for it to get out of Vitor's system.

  • Wow, it's not hard to deal with stupid people because most of them want to learn. It is hard to deal with ignorant people – they don't want to learn.

  • Seriously? Rory, are you drawing upon some store of medical knowledge other people aren't aware of when you say "The primary function of TRT is to aid recovery and muscle repair, whether you like it or not, the treatment is a performance enhancing drug." Quite honestly, why should anyone believe that your "expertise" on the subject trumps that of WebMD? and

    Among the symptoms of low testosterone are: decrease in muscle mass, increase of body fat, fragile bones, anemia, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, and low sense of well being. May of these are detrimental to being ANY kind of athlete. The causes include testicular injury or loss, genetic abnormalities, hemochromatosis, pituitary gland dysfunction, inflammatory diseases, many medications, chronic illness, kidney and/or liver problems, stress, and alcoholism. Note how "past use of performance enhancing drugs" isn't anywhere here?

    So basically, what are you basing your "knowledge" of the primary purposes of TRT on?

    • PRIMARY doesn't mean only function, it means the one most relevant. to mma fighters they dont take trt to get a boner do they?