Sonnen blasted onto the UFC radar in his middleweight title bout against Anderson Silva. At UFC 117 Sonnen stunned the world by bashing the incumbent champion from pillar-to-post for four rounds. He was the clear winner going into the fifth, but one mistake allowed Silva to steal the match via an armbar submission.
In a post-fight drug test Sonnen tested positive to elevated levels of testosterone.
Four years later he retired amid more positive drug tests and allegations.
Anderson Silva also returned positive results shortly thereafter.
While many of Silva’s former opponents have sought to assuage their losses against Silva in the wake of the drug scandal Sonnen is more prosaic:
“I knew exactly what he was doing and he knew what I was doing, Sonnen said. “You’ve got to understand, there’s a misconception that the UFC had a drug problem. The reality of it is tht it had an age problem. The guys from my generation … things were different when we started, the rules were different, the rules changed over time and we did not change. We were set in our ways and we kinda said, ‘this is how we’ve always done it and this is how we’re gonna keep doing it.
“When the rules changed there were just a lot of guys who were caught with their pants down and there’s no excuse about it. That’s just the way it happened. [Silva’s] in a jam now because there’s a couple of things that were just ridiculous. He failed for three substances. None of the substances I had ever heard of and I doubt any of your readers had heard of them until he tested positive for them, so that’s a little underhanded.
“When you look close, two of the substances are over the counter at every store in the world. They are sleep-aids … I can tell you – in fight week you’re stressed out of your mind, you’re dehydrated, you can’t sleep, and if he took something that’s gonna help him fall asleep, if I’m gonna be his opponent, take more – take five times as much – its’ fine with me.
“To come out and say that stuff is banned with no warning ahead of time – there’s no list, there’s no one you can call and check, there’s no way to tell until it shows up and there’s a violation – that’s underhanded.