Speaking on UFC Tonight (video courtesy of MMAfighting.com), Sonnen, who has long been one of the most noted users of testosterone replacement therapy in the sport, said that with the recent TRT ban, his time in the sport may be closing quickly.
Speaking about the ban and its ramifications for fighters such as Vitor Belfort, Sonnen said:
The bottom line is testosterone is out. Now, as it relates to Vitor, I think this was a very genuine and sincere thing for him. Here's the problem that I have: A fighter that said seven days ago, ‘I need TRT or I can't do this,' and then all of a sudden goes, ‘Well, I'll just stop TRT.' I find that very disingenuous.
Then, Sonnen took his thoughts to a personal level, reflecting on how the ban could affect his future in MMA. For fans of West Linn, Oregon's most famous gangster, the prognosis was not pretty.
...I'm going through this myself, where I've had to stop testosterone with the hope that we can find a new way to gain the results of upping testosterone to stay at a healthy level. If it doesn't work, I may have to stop the sport.
While Sonnen is one of the UFC's most talked-about figures and is never far from the spotlight, his points in this segment served as a cold reminder that his time as a draw for the company is nearing its end.
With welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre out until further notice, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva rehabbing a leg injury and women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey taking a break until late summer to focus on her Hollywood career, the loss of Sonnen would provide another unfortunate blow for the UFC's business plans in 2014.
Right now, fans can rest easy knowing that Sonnen's May 31 bout with Silva is still on, but beyond that, we may bid our farewells to Chael P. if, as he says, he cannot safely and legally raise his testosterone to healthy levels.
While Sonnen is the first fighter to outright admit that he might have to quit the sport since the TRT ban issued Feb. 27, it will be interesting to see if more fighters follow suit and bow out of the game, sensing that they cannot safely compete at optimal levels.
Do you think we will see known TRT users gracefully exiting the cage for good with the recent ban in place, or is Sonnen simply overreacting in the heat of the moment?