The most colorful fighter in UFC history has hung up the gloves.
On Wednesday night, former UFC middleweight contender and current light heavyweight Chael Sonnen used his platform as host of UFC Tonight to announce his retirement from the sports of mixed martial arts.
The self-proclaimed “Bad Guy” thanked everyone from his former coaches to the fans and even longtime rival Anderson Silva for making the last 17 years some of the most unforgettable moments of his life.
“I want to thank FOX,” he said. “I want to thank the leadership of the UFC. I want to thank a man named Bill Brady, who gave me a second wind, if you will. He’s a member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and he believed in me at a time when I really needed somebody to, and I owe the second wind of my career to him. I am proud to call him a friend. I also want to thank the most important opponent I’ve ever had. I couldn’t have got here without this dance partner, and that is of course you, Anderson Silva. Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the invitation to the barbecue, even though I didn’t take you up on it.”
This announcement comes just one day after it was revealed the 37-year-old failed a random drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The test revealed traces of banned substances Anastrozole and Clomiphene, which are commonly used as fertility medicine and to help wean a person of testosterone replacement therapy.
Sonnen, who went into drastic defense mode after the result of the test were released, went on to take full responsibility for his actions but wanted to make it clear his positive test was in no way a sign he was trying to cheat the system.
“I absolutely take responsibility,” Sonnen said. “The one thing when I spoke with [UFC President] Dana White yesterday when Dana White went and spoke with [Fox Sports host] Mike Hill, he was very clear to say, ‘Chael needed to talk to the commission.’ Now I do agree with that, and I am well aware, as is my management team, that we do need to talk to a commission…In the meanwhile, my wife and I were having problems with fertility. This is a matter of health, and this is a matter of being a parent and being able to live the next chapter of my life. At no point was there an attempt to slip around the system.”
Sonnen retires from the sport with 43 professional fights under his belt with a career record of 28-14-1, including a 7-7 record under the UFC banner. He appeared in three title fights but came up short to Silva twice and Jon Jones once.