Chael Sonnen, in the wake of a failed drug test in the lead up to his UFC 175 bout, has called it a career.
Sonnen owns notable wins over Yushin Okami, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Michael Bisping, and Shogun Rua. But it’s the battles that he lost with then UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva where he made his mark on the sport. “I want to thank the single most important opponent I ever had,” Sonnen explained on Fox Sports 1. “I couldn’t have gotten to where I am without this dance partner and that is, of course, Anderson Silva. I thank you for the opportunity and the memories.”
In Sonnen’s 2010 bout with Silva, the American Gangster laid the blueprint for how to defeat a man who had been undefeated in the octagon. Sonnen used wrestling to ground-and-pound his way to a dominant performance until the Brazilian caught him in a last-minute triangle choke. Sonnen repeated that game plan in his 2012 rematch with Silva to great success until falling on a knee from the champion.
Sonnen retires with a 28-14-1 record. Despite failing two drug tests during his career, using the controversial but legal testosterone-replacement therapy, and receiving a money laundering conviction for an Oregon real estate deal, Sonnen leaves the sport with greater opportunities awaiting him. A commentator on Fox Sports 1, Sonnen has also expressed interest in professional wrestling.