Most Controversial Moments in the Career of Chael Sonnen
Anytime Chael Sonnen talks, the MMA world listens. The topics have included the world of fighting, sports and even politics. People say Sonnen has talked his way into fights, like the rematch with Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. The former middleweight title contender will be coaching alongside UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones on The Ultimate Fighter 17 premiering this coming Tuesday.
Sonnen has had plenty of moments in his career that have left people scratching their heads. What moments would you include? Let's take a look and some of the most controversial moments with Chael P. Sonnen.
First Fight with Paulo Filho
Chael Sonnen returned to the WEC in 2007, and in his return fight squared off with middleweight champion Paulo Filho. The fight went to the ground and Filho locked in an armbar—and that's where the controversy ensued.
Sonnen can be heard saying something and referee Josh Rosenthal stopped the fight. Sonnen proclaimed he was saying "no" in regards to whether he wanted to tap. The two ended up fighting each other again in 2008, which was a non-title fight due to Filho not making weight. Sonnen won the fight by unanimous decision.
Making Fun of the Nogueira Brothers
Chael Sonnen became the number one contender for the UFC Middleweight Championship by defeating Nate Marquardt at UFC 109 in February of 2010. That is when the gloves came off and Sonnen showed his personalty.
In preparing for his fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 117 in August 2010, Sonnen ripped into Silva. The Oregon native would say anything and everything to get under the champion's skin. Sonnen did the Q&A before the weigh-ins for UFC 115, and the most controversial moment was when he brought up Antonio Rogerio and Rodrigo Nogueira—both of whom are mentors of Silva.
Sonnen stated, "A black belt from the Nogueira brothers is like saying I got a free toy in my happy meal."
It was that particular moment that started the build towards the first fight with Silva.
Failed Drug Test After UFC 117
Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 by submission after Sonnen dominated the first four-and-a-half rounds, but the champion pulled out a triangle armbar with less than two minutes left in the fight.
After the fight, though, it was revealed that Sonnen failed a post-fight drug test. It was then later revealed that his testosterone to epitestosterone ratio was 16.9 to 1, of which the legal ratio is only 4 to 1. Sonnen originally was handed a one year suspension. However, the suspension was reduced to six months after a hearing in December, 2010 .
Sonnen was then given an indefinite suspension due to the false testimony he gave at the December 2010 hearing, as well as being convicted of money laundering. Sonnen ended up getting the suspension lifted later in 2011 and returned against Brian Stann at UFC 136 in October of that year.
Money Laundering Conviction
When bad things happen to you, they usually happen all at the same time. For Chael Sonnen that was definitely the case. After already being suspended for a positive drug test, Sonnen was then convicted of money laundering in a real estate case related to work in 2006.
Sonnen had a real estate license in the state of Oregon. Sonnen "admitted that a financial transaction he conducted was designed to conceal or disguise the ownership and control of the proceeds of wire fraud," according to a Department of Justice statement.
Sonnen ended up pleading guilty and was sentenced to 24 months probation, had his real estate license taken away and received a $10,000 fine.