Inside the Octagon by Autumn McDowell, Sports Writer
In August, number one contender Chael Sonnen took on the middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a fight that surprisingly almost went the distance. Most people assumed that it would be Silva who would utterly dominate Sonnen. However, Silva appeared to be on his way to being on the wrong end of a beat-down.
Sonnen was the closest opponent, by far, to even come close to de-belting Silva. However, after being held on the ground for four rounds and three minutes, Silva somehow pulled off the victory once again. Silva locked up a triangle choke and stole the victory out from under Sonnen, who was just two minutes away from a sure victory over the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
Although Sonnen did not leave victorious, he was promised a rematch with the champion in the near future and his UFC career looked to be on the rise. However, instead of working out a new strategy for the octagon, Sonnen will be working on a strategy for court. Sonnen recently tested positive for increased levels of testosterone, a.k.a. performance enhancing drugs, a.k.a. steroids. Like many contenders and champions that came before him who failed a drug test, Sonnen will now be put on the shelf for one year and be required to pay a $2,500 fine. Although Sonnen plans to appeal this punishment within the next 30 days, these cases are very rarely overturned, so it is almost certain that Sonnen will lose this battle.
Sonnen was set to appear on TV within the next couple of days to talk about the supposed steroid use, but he has since pulled out of his scheduled appearance. This leads more people to believe that the steroid accusations are true. If they were false, you would think that Sonnen would jump at the chance to appear on TV in order to clear his name. At some point Sonnen will have to face the fans and the media about these accusations. When he does, it is almost certain that he will use his time on-air to deny, deny, deny, as most people in that situation do. When former lightweight champion Sean Sherk failed a drug test, he immediately denied the accusations. Although people are still debating as to whether or not Sherk knowingly took steroids, his reputation as well as fighting ability definitely took a hit during his year off. I can only assume that the same thing that happened to Sherk will happen to Sonnen, meaning that he will be convicted of using steroids and his fight career will never be the same.
If Sonnen does indeed drop off of the middleweight ladder completely, it’s no real loss to anyone. Sure, the kid put on a great performance against Silva, but if he can’t beat him when he is possibly on drugs, there is no way he will even come close to beating him under his own power. All of Sonnen’s previous four wins in the octagon have come via unanimous decision. If the UFC can use this situation as an opportunity to rid itself of another decision-machine, so be it. I know I won’t be complaining.