Dana White on Firing Chael Sonnen: ‘It’s One of Those Hard Decisions You Gotta Make’

By Tristen Critchfield Jul 1, 2014
Dana White said he had to take action against Chael Sonnen. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

After he failed two random drug tests in a one-month span, the UFC and Fox severed ties completely with Chael Sonnen on Monday.

Sonnen, who cited health concerns in recently retiring from mixed martial arts after testing positive for anastrozole and clomiphene, lost his analyst gig with Fox Sports when it was revealed he had also tested positive for several more banned substances, including human growth hormone, in a second random screening.

UFC President Dana White explained the decision to fire Sonnen during Tuesday’s edition of “America’s Pregame” on Fox Sports 1.

“It’s never easy making decisions like this. Chael’s a person that I personally care about. I know a lot of people at Fox care about him too,” White said. “The guy had four banned substances in his system. Four banned substances in his system leading up to a fight here in Las Vegas.”

Although he had already announced his retirement, Sonnen initially received a temporary suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission as a result of the first test, which was conducted in May. Sonnen was originally expected to compete at UFC 175, first against Wanderlei Silva, then against Vitor Belfort. The bout would ultimately be removed from Saturday’s lineup.

Now, Sonnen will not be a presence in the Fox studio, either.

“It’s a tough one -- it’s one of those hard decisions you gotta make,” White said. “It was definitely a hard one. It’s something we had to do.”


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