Chael Sonnen has led one of the most decorated careers in recent memory. However, his career started with a list of fights against nobodies. He started his career 6 – 0, with the only meaningful victory coming over Jason Miller. This was even before you could call Miller “Mayhem.” He would then lose to Trevor Prangley & Forrest Griffin in 2003. Following a loss to Jeremy Horn in September, 2004, Sonnen rebounded and went 3 – 1 before getting the call to fight in the UFC.
Sonnen in the UFC: Part One
Before Sonnen could even spell out Ultimate Fighting Championship, he was gone from the UFC. Renato Sobral made him tap out in the second round of his first UFC fight. Sonnen then avenged his loss to Prangley, and attempted to do the same with Horn. For the second time in 20 months, Horn made Sonnen tap out.
After the loss, Sonnen was released from the UFC, and went on a 5 – 0 streak. The only problem with the streak was the only fighter he beat with a fair amount of talent is Tim Credeur.
Sonnen gets chance to fight in WEC
With an overall record of 20 – 8 – 1, Sonnen was given an immediate title shot against WEC Middleweight Champion, Paulo Filho. Filho defeated Sonnen by second round arm bar to retain the title. Sonnen defeated Bryan Baker, to set up a second title shot with Filho in what would be the final WEC Middleweight championship match. Filho came in overweight, and the match was changed to a non-title affair, which Sonnen easily won by unanimous decision.
Sonnen in the UFC: Part Two
Sonnen’s second stint in the UFC started off the same way his first one ended, with a tap out loss, this time to Demian Maia. Sonnen then beat Dan Miller, Yushin Okami & Nate Marquardt, and threw his name into the hat for a UFC Middleweight Title shot against Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Had Marquardt won the fight, he was guaranteed a shot at Silva. The same wasn’t true for Sonnen. Two months after the Marquardt fight, Sonnen, and the rest of the world witnessed Silva & Maia fight. What ensued was one of the three worst title defenses in UFC history (All Silva fights).
Sonnen guaranteed to make Silva fight, and a fight it was
On August 7, 2010, the battle was set. Sonnen was the brash, outspoken underdog. Silva was the best champion in UFC history. Something had to give. We all know what happened that night. Sonnen dominated the champion for over 20 minutes, before he got caught in a triangle arm bar. Silva fought back, and ripped his title back from the grasp of Sonnen’s hands.
UFC President Dana White announced that Sonnen would get an immediate rematch. Something I think wasn’t necessary. Silva came in the champ, and walked out the champ, with a win. It’s not like it was a draw (Maynard – Edgar, that rematch is one I understand).
Post-fight drug test – legal issues ensue for Oregon native
It didn’t take long for Sonnen to lose his title shot. Sonnen tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and was suspended for a year and fined. After appeal, the suspension was reduced to six months, and a potential shot with Silva was in sight again, just as long as Silva retains the belt when he fights Vitor Belfort in February.
Just when it seemed that his drug failure was the biggest problem, Sonnen was found to have laundered money during his time as a licensed Realtor. On January 3, he pleaded guilty to all charges, and as part of a plea deal, is expected to receive probation, fine & revocation of his Realtor license.
Less than 24 hours later, as reported by MMA Junkie, Sonnen was suspended from the UFC until he clears up all his personal issues. This might be the farthest a fighter has dropped in a short span of time, without fighting, in the history of mixed martial arts.
Sonnen was a lock for a rematch, and then lost it. Then a lock again for a future shot, and then he lost it. We don’t even know when he’ll fight again, let alone who it’ll be against. One thing’s for sure, Silva doesn’t even see Sonnen in his rear view mirror anymore.
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