OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 07: Chael Sonnen walks to his corner in between rounds of his fights against Anderson Silva during the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at Oracle Arena on August 7 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
I can't help but sigh and shake my head. If these reports are true, and it certainly appears they are, Chael Sonnen's stock just shot all the way to the floor. From Sherdog comes the report:
According to California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer George Dodd, Chael Sonnen has been notified that he failed post-fight drug screening following his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 117, which was held Aug. 7 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
"[Sonnen] received his notice yesterday," Dodd told Sherdog.com.
I'm not even sure what to say to this. There has been no word from Dana White or the UFC. Sonnen has so far been quiet. Does this mean the rematch won't be happening? Vitor Belfort is already scheduled to fight Yushin Okami at UFC 122 in Germany. Who does that leave? Nate Marquardt comes to mind. You would think he would be happy about this but he had this to say on his Twitter:
Ok so sounds like it's confirmed that Sonnen failed drug test when he fought Silva. Apparently he was taking meds 4 flu n that made positive
He later goes on to say that, that is "just a rumor like everything else, I guess". It should be noted that Marquardt failed a drug test after his UFC debut against Ivan Salaverry at the inaugural Fight Night. I have no idea if flu medication could cause a false positive. It sounds odd to me but I suppose it could be true. If that is the case does it change your opinion on this failed test?
No matter what happens this is devastating to the UFC. They really wanted this rematch to happen and in my opinion, they really wanted Sonnen to win the title. He's proven to be extremely marketable as opposed to champion Anderson Silva, who has historically struggled to draw. Even after a definitive result in the first fight, the UFC immediately set up a rematch. Usually it takes some controversy. I suppose now we have it albeit not the kind of controversy anybody wants.
What made Sonnen such a star is the same thing that will help to bury him here. All that talking he did leading up to the fight looks a lot different now then it did yesterday. If anything, Silva looks even more untouchable. So what will Dana White and the UFC do? They could try to spin it but don't expect that. White will have to shoot straight if this is true. The scrutiny will be heavy. More as it becomes available.