Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Florian’

 

Photo by: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

Photo by: Bob Fisher Pugilpix.com

By: Jonathan M. King

The best way to describe Chael P. Sonnen’s personality is polarizing. His cantankerous approach and quick tongue leave most people who come across him on one side of the room or the other. Not many  folks find themselves in limbo when asked “What do you think of Chael?” He is charismatic, talented, extremely intelligent, and his fight analysis is as cerebral as anyone in the business. He can also be a dick. A big one! He doesn’t mind playing the bad guy. He understands that in the world of entertainment everyone has a role to play.

These characteristics are the reason he became the face of the UFC on FOX. Simply put, no one else was a better fit. He was the perfect ambassador for the sport. A good looking, witty dude, who engaged the camera as if it were the viewer themselves. Sonnen made you part of the broadcast weather you agreed with him or not, he involved the viewers. His WWE style promos endered fans who once thought him as brash, but now branded him as ‘colorful’.

Most importantly he raised everyone else’s game to his level. He made Karyn Bryant that much better than she already was… His back and forth exchanges with Kenny Florian, were always hysterical, and his presence made the shows fun to watch. Sort of the way Will Ferrel does, Sonnen’s presence commands the room. You never can be sure what you are going to get from him, and that edginess created a ‘Howard Stern-like’ quality that even his detractors had to watch.

Then it all disappeared. Following two failed drug test (for competition in the UFC, not narcotics) Sonnen was released from his position at FOX, the network cited his conduct as their reasoning.

Ever since the quality of the FOX broadcasting of UFC events has been lacking. Sonnen’s chair has been filled with an ever-changing group of fighters that include (most recently) Josh Koscheck, Matt Serra, Chris Lytle, and Jake Ellenberger. All of whom made Sonnen’s absence that much more obvious with less than stellar performances.

Broadcasting and working with other broadcasters is an artform. A talent that Sonnen has displayed naturally. Maybe we miss him now because those who have tried to replace him have been horrible. However I don’t think its about the what the others lack, per say, its more about what Sonnen possesses. Simply put they’re failures are that they are not Chael!

Not everyone is meant to be a fighter. The same can be said about analysts.  Sonnen’s absence from the FOX broadcast team has shined a glaring spotlight on that fact. The void left in his absence is tremendous. It reminds me of what the news must have been like after Cronkite left…There was no news, because he WAS the news!

Punishment and forgiveness go hand in hand. With the circumstances around this case, with the types of drugs he was taking, and the reasons for taking them (coming off of TRT, and fertility treatments for the soon to be father), maybe its time to forgive. Not because he is needed so badly but….well yeah, because he is needed so badly.

Lets face facts ‘The UFC on FOX’ programming is horrible without ‘The American Gangsta’, borderline unwatchable. The last few shows have proven like Cronkite before him, Chael Sonnen is the identity of ‘The UFC on FOX’ programming. Without him, there really isnt much too watch. Its time to stop fixing mistakes with other mistakes. Please, put Chael back on TV.

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Photo courtesy of THE UFC

 

By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Commentary:

“He cheated, he did drugs, and he gave himself cancer. Well, instead of saying ‘Hey listen, I cheated and gave myself cancer, don’t be like me,’ he actually made himself the victim and then went out and profited something like $15 million from this ‘Hey, poor me, let’s find a cure for cancer’ campaign instead of just coming clean and saying, ‘Look, here’s what I did, I screwed myself up, and I hope people learn from my mistakes.’

-Chael P. Sonnen on Lance Armstrong

We shouldn’t be surprised or should we? The first failed drug test was an indication, wasn’t it? Or did we just fall for the excuse? The facts are in by using his own words, Chael Sonnen (who recently retired from MMA) is a cheater. The first failed drug test was blamed on his TRT exemption. Since being made illegal, Sonnen claimed his first ‘hot’ test was not a surprise. In fact, he stated he looked forward to enlightening the commision on the proper way to come off of TRT treatment.

The first test, (which prompted Sonnen’s retirement) was blamed on drugs that were necessary to ween himself off of the TRT therapy. Then news broke this week that Sonnen in fact failed another test, that was conducted by NSAC. A test that was performed previous to the earlier test. Results for some reason were just lagging behind. The second test removed all doubt as to Sonnen’s intentions.

The second failure set off alarms because of the presence of EPO and HGH. Both are banned substances, and both cannot be confused for “weening therapy”. EPO has long been used as a performance enhancer, because of its ability to help increase the oxygen load of red blood cells. HGH, which became famous during the Balco scandal, is used to speed up recovery time, and to help build muscle.

Neither can be confused as anything but performance enhancers.

This latest evidence proves that Sonnen’s intentions were to improve performance. Despite what he may want you to believe. The facts are he was taking the same substances Lance Armstrong was using, and the fact that he has hasn’t admitted anything yet; makes him as guilty as the man he villainized.

With Sonnen no longer actively competing in MMA, one must wonder if these latest revelations will prompt some sort of disciplinary action from either The UFC or from Fox themselves. As a commentator Sonnen is one of the best. His brash attitude, and quick wit make him a standout at Fox, not just among fighters, but among main stream sports casters as well.

His status and potential must however be put aside, at least for now. His recent actions have hurt the credibility of the sport, and that cannot be allowed by the UFC or its partners. Although he is clearly the best fight commentator, Dominick Cruz, Kenny Florian and Brian Stann could all adequately fill his shoes, while Sonnen rode out a suspension. However the suspension would have to be a significant one, one that allows time to remove the sting of Sonnen’s betrayal.