Perhaps Chael Sonnen's biggest ally and champion, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, had remained silent on his shocking "termination" after outright bombing a pre-fight out-of-competition drug test.
Sonnen initially claimed the two banned substances detected in his system, Anastrozole and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), were prescribed to treat fertility issues. And he had no apologies for doing what needed to be done to start a family.
White publicly had his back, even shifting some of the blame for the positive result onto Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and its misunderstanding of what is -- and isn't -- acceptable in the wake of a recent ban on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
Then, the blood test results returned, indicating that Sonnen also had human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) in his system, two more banned substances that are considered performance-enhancing.
Rather than continue the nightmarish public relations charade, UFC and FOX Sports, which relied on Sonnen to carry its "UFC Tonight" program as the lead on-air talent, made the "tough" decision to sever ties with "American Gangster."
It was something that "had to be done," according to White, who shared his first comments on the matter on FOX Sports 1's "America's Pregame" earlier this evening (via Sherdog.com):
"It’s never easy making decisions like this. Chael’s a person that I personally care about. I know a lot of people at Fox care about him too. The guy had four banned substances in his system. Four banned substances in his system leading up to a fight here in Las Vegas.... It’s a tough one -- it’s one of those hard decisions you gotta make. It was definitely a hard one. It’s something we had to do."
With UFC 175: "Weidman vs. Machida" set for this Saturday and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale: "Edgar vs. Penn" taking place the next day -- and a two-day Fan Expo event sandwiched between -- it's safe to say that White and Co. want this distraction out of the way as quick as possible.
Double the media, double the questions, double the trouble.
Indeed, Sonnen's second failed drug test was the biggest news this past weekend, overshadowing an "historic" day-night event double header for UFC. While Sonnen was amazing for business during his tenure (he has since retired from the sport), his latest folly is having the reverse effect.
Ronda Rousey, who defends her Bantamweight belt this weekend against Alexis Davis in the new co-main event, is the new "company woman." And with a convincing win over Lyoto Machida in the night's main event, Middleweight champion Chris Weidman might finally begin to get over with casual fans.
Out with the old, in with the new, for better or worse. Life goes on.