by Adam Lawman
In what could be one of the biggest blows for the UFC’s plans in 2011, Chael Sonnen’s post fight drug screen following his UFC 117 loss to Anderson Silva tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Sherdog’s Greg Savage broke the story last night after talking to the California State Athletic Commission’s George Dodd. If true, his is horrible news for all involved.
The rematch between Sonnen and Anderson Silva was expected to pull in some big numbers as well as form the landscape of the future of the middleweight division. Instead, Sonnen will most likely be out for a substantial period of time while battling the allegations or, if found guilty, serving his suspension.
UFC 117 showed the best Chael Sonnen that the sport had ever seen. Sonnen overpowered Silva, outboxed Silva, took him down multiple times and nearly pulled off the amazing upset, only to be submitted by a triangle/armbar combo in the final minutes of the championship bout.
Could this be why there was such a great difference between the two fighters at UFC 117? Could it be that Anderson Silva was fighting injured while Chael Sonnen was fighting juiced? If so, it will surely tarnish the first fight, the potential rematch and Sonnen’s entire career.
This development, if it upholds to be accurate, will open a huge opportunity for the Vitor Belfort/Yushin Okami fight set for UFC 122 in Germany. Being that the card will air free via a same day tape delay on Spike TV, it could serve as a great way to introduce the UFC’s audience to the fact that Belfort or Okami will be the next contender, sooner than expected.
There will surely be much more information that comes out regarding Sonnen’s positive test, but as of right now, it’s a safe bet that Sonnen won’t see the Octagon for 6 months to 1 year.
(Image from UFC.com)