After failing his second consecutive drug test, Chael Sonnen was relieved of his duties as an employee of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which included his job as co-host of "UFC Tonight" and analyst for pre/post-fight shows on FOX.
The former two-time No. 1 middleweight contender retired from active competition in mixed martial arts (MMA) following the backlash of his initial failed test, which revealed he had traces of Anastrozole and Clomiphene in his system ahead of his fight at UFC 175.
Sonnen never denied taking the substances, explaining that he was unaware that they were banned and was taking them as part of his regimen to taper off testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) as well as to help with fertility issues.
But after news broke a few weeks later that he failed a second test for human growth hormone (HGH) and erythropoietin (EPO), Dana White and Co. had no choice but to sever all ties.
"It breaks my heart. I care about Chael very much. Me and Chael have had a very good relationship behind the scenes. He's a great guy. He had four banned substances in his body. What are you going to do? It is [discouraging]. The relationship that I have with him, when he took the test I would expect him to come to me and say, 'Hey listen, I've got some bad news for you.' You know? It sucks."
When asked about possibly giving a second chance to "The American Gangster," White didn't flat out say he would give him one, but didn't necessarily shut the door completely.
"I care about the guy very much and hopefully, you know, it all depends on how he handles it. America is a very forgiving place for guys who do the right thing. You see what happens with the guys who dig their heels in and try to battle it. It doesn't work that well for them."
While White has shown he can be very forgiving with guys he doesn't like, there have been some things the Las Vegas fight boss can't get over, like Paul Daley's sucker punch on Josh Koscheck, which got him a lifetime UFC ban.
Of course, it's safe to say that "Semtex" wasn't exactly the "company man" that Chael was.
Still, the fact that White shared a small glimmer of hope for Sonnen could mean that we haven't seen the last from the "Gangster" at UFC events. After all, if he can allow a former foe back into the UFC fold, then Chael's chances at a comeback are pretty good.
In the meantime, Sonnen's fans can see him grapple against Andre Galvao at Metamoris 4 (watch video trailer here), which takes place at Petersen Automotive Museum (Second Floor) in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 9, 2014.
What say you, Maniacs, do you think Sonnen will one day be welcomed back into the UFC fold?