Former UFC fighter Brian Stann knows how drugs in MMA changes careers and to his own credit, he retired from the sport to not go through the same possible fates that Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort is going though.
His thoughts on his fellow friend, Chael Sonnen getting suspended: “He’s been caught before, he’s had issues before, so I think it’s fair,” Stann said. “There’s got to be more of a deterrent for people to do this, because it’s not necessarily just the individuals, it’s an environment that’s been created where once one guy has a distinct advantage, everybody else feels like they have to have that advantage. So there are certainly others out there that need to get caught as well. He just happened to be the one that they’re going to make an example out of.”
“It doesn’t necessarily affect him,” Stann said. “I’ve spoken to Chael; there are no plans right now for him to come back. I think he owned everything, which is excellent, and it is what it is. It’s pretty much what he expected and I like the fact they’re handing out longer suspensions. …This isn’t basketball. We’re talking about combat sports. We’re giving each other concussions; it’s a major advantage to be on these substances. If you’re a multiple time violator, then you should be gone.”
“I think it’s achievable in that you got to understand: if you’re the ones trying to regulate and catch people, you got to talk to the guys on the inside,” Stann said. “It’s kind of like when investigators hire ex-criminals to help them solve a crime. To understand the ins-and-the-outs and what’s causing guys to go that route. ‘Chael, what made you want to take those substances? What made you feel like you had to take those substances? How do we stop guys from getting to that point? How do we deter them from getting to that point? If we’re handing out two-year suspensions to guys who have been caught before, would you have risked it?’ Maybe he says, ‘No, I wouldn’t have.’”
His thoughts on Belfort’s punishment: “It’s surprising,” Stann said of Belfort’s licensure. “It shows the extremes where on one end you got a guy pushing for a lifetime ban, you got another guy who gives a two-year ban, then you got another guy over here who gets the opportunity to fight in December for a world championship. That, to me, doesn’t look like it’s consistent.”
“If you’re a multiple-time violator, it should be over for you. You should no longer be able to compete. It’s unfortunate. I’m sure Vitor would argue that with me and I may not know all the details, but like I said, when it comes to disciplinary measures, consistency is extremely important.”