In the wake of a recent drug test failure, two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight title challenger, Chael Sonnen, announced his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) on the set of FOX Sports 1's "UFC Tonight" earlier this evening.
Sonnen initially reacted to the positive result defiantly, claiming that the banned substances detected in the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC)-administered out-of-competition screening were essential to treat fertility-related issues, as well as his termination of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
However, "American Gangster" didn't disclose all the prescriptions to NSAC before, during or after the test ahead of a UFC 175 match against Vitor Belfort because, as he claimed, he figured the traces were already out of his system and would be long gone be "game day" on July 6, 2014.
Not the case.
And rather than appeal the finding on the grounds of confusion and miscommunication, Sonnen, 37, opted to hang up his gloves for good after more than 17 years of competition to focus on his health ... and growing family.
Check out his final farewell from the video above:
"I want to talk directly to the thousands and thousands of fans who have supported me throughout my career: Guys, I had a great time. And there are so many people to thank, from the leadership of UFC to the people here at FOX, who have given me such a wonderful platform and opportunity. I want to thank my coach, Clayton Hires, who has stood by me through thick and thin and taught me how to work hard and taught me about discipline…. I don’t want to be out of bounds, I want to be in compliance. But, in the three years that I have studied these rules, I’ve gotten conflicting reports and I’m no closer to understanding them now than I have ever been. My health is going to come first, my family will always come first. And some day, I will not have the title of fighter — I will lose that title. But, I will never lose the title of parent and father. That is what is very important to me. And at this time, I would officially like to announce my retirement from competitive mixed marital arts. I am officially done. I will not step foot in that Octagon again."
Sonnen most recently served as coach opposite mortal arch enemy, Wanderlei Silva, on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3," with the pair scheduled to settle their grudge match once and for all this Fourth of July weekend in Las Vegas. However, Silva "dodged" his test and ultimately forced him out of the ill-fated match.
To get up to speed on the entire Sonnen, Silva and Belfort fiasco that has overshadowed UFC 175 check out our comprehensive story stream here.
Sonnen (28-14) made his MMA debut back in 1997, competing 43 times as a professional for promotions such as UFC, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), Bodog and Pancrase, among others. He was never really considered a top-ranked contender until about 2009, which is when he began a five-year run as the biggest -- and best -- entertainers in the sport with WWF-inspired promos like this.
Indeed, he was a much better talker than he ever was a fighter, an always-game and brave soldier who would take on all-comers -- including Jon Jones, the best fighter on the planet -- with little-to-no notice. Sonnen will likely be best remembered for his rivalry with 185-pound champion Anderson Silva, who he nearly defeated at UFC 117 back in 2010 before giving the win away with less than two minutes remaining in the five-round title match.
Sonnen did not reveal his future plans, but it's safe to say that despite his checkered past, he has a future with FOX as an analyst, as well as a seat at UFC's retirement table alongside current employees such as Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes and Forrest Griffin, among others, if he wants it.
And, most important, the title of "Father."