September 21, 2010
Monday's Jim Rome show was another example of "be careful what you wish for MMA" when it comes to media coverage. Now that more media big boys are on board, they will often latch onto the negative stories before the positive ones. It was a bit shocking to hear the national radio host talking MMA on a Monday that didn't follow a fight card weekend, but the Chael Sonnen saga was just too good for Rome to pass up.
The Premiere Radio and ESPN television host became very familiar with Sonnen right before UFC 117. Rome did a nice job of pressing Sonnen on his over-the-top comments about Lance Armstrongcheating, taking steroids and "giving himself cancer." Sonnen denied making the comments and then denied it again even upon hearing the audio. He was an easy punching bag on Monday when Rome discovered that the fighter tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Rome did bring up an excellent point. In the end, are there truly any long-term repercussions for the sport? Will Sonnen getting nabbed scare anybody? Rome says no, because the penalties can never match the potential windfall from taking PED's, winning and moving up the rankings.
Rome also found time to play some drops (5:45 mark) from Sonnen's Q&A last week at Ultimate Fight Night 22. Sonnen said he'd like to stab Brock Lesnar (video-- 5:25 mark). At least he's got no worries about any disciplinary action for that stupid comment; Sonnen more than overshadowed it with his positive test.
More details are slowly trickling in about the drug-test results in California. Sonnen's facing a year suspension and a minimum fine of $2,500. George Dodd from the California State Athletic Commission told SI.com's Josh Gross that Sonnen admitted before the Anderson Silva fight that he'd taken something.
"He only indicated that he was taking it but he never indicated why," Dodd said. "[Sonnen] just let me know he was taking [something] and that's when I called over an inspector to get it documented. But when you do take it you still have to show a medical reason."
Sonnen's urine sample first tested positive on Sept. 2. A second test was done at UCLA's Olympic Drug Testing lab and produced the same result.
The scheduled February rematch between Sonnen and Silva appears unlikely. Unless he wins an appeal, Sonnen's suspension will run through Sept. 2, 2011.
In a press release, the UFC stated that the Yushin Okami-Vitor Belfort match at UFC 122 is now a No. 1 contender fight in the middleweight division.
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