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Chael Sonnen Joins ESPN

Jason Barrett

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Chael Sonnen has found a new home for his broadcasting and analyst work.

The retired UFC fighter and former title challenger, who was fired from his job with FOX Sports earlier this year, has signed on with ESPN as an MMA analyst. ESPN officials today announced the signing following an initial report from the AP.

According to ESPN, Sonnen has signed a “multi-fight agreement as a studio and on-site analyst, providing expert pre- and post-fight insight on ‘SportsCenter’’s coverage of major UFC pay-per-view events.” He debuts Friday on the eve of UFC 180 and will appear throughout the weekend on “SportsCenter” and various ESPN platforms, according to the announcement.

“The industry leader in sports…and ESPN have finally joined forces,” Sonnen stated in the announcement. “You’re welcome, wait! These mics hot? The biggest thing to happen to ESPN since…well nothing really comes close. In all seriousness, to ESPN, to Disney, to the Hearst Corporation and to all the viewers…you’re welcome. From one industry leader to another, I look forward to the opportunity of bringing my stories, insight and unique perspective of mixed martial arts to the network.”

Sonnen (28-14-1 MMA, 7-6 UFC) was fired from his FOX Sports/”UFC Tonight” co-hosting gig and subsequently announced his retirement following a pair of failed UFC 175 drug tests earlier this year.

At a July hearing with Nevada State Athletic Commission, Sonnen (28-14-1 MMA, 7-6 UFC) received a two-year suspension for the failed tests. Sonnen admitted his guilt and said he agreed with the commission’s punishment, which also included paying the cost and analysis of the drug tests that ensnared him, agreeing not to fight in any other jurisdiction for his two-year term, and acting as an educator to both the commission and fellow fighters on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs.

Sonnen was flagged for a total of five PEDs prior to a scheduled fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 175 on July 5: anastrozole, clomifene, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin. The first failed test prompted the UFC to pull him from the fight, after which he publicly retired from the sport. The second positive test, which revealed the presence of noted PEDs HGH and EPO, triggered the termination of his relationship with the UFC and FOX, where he served as a host of FOX Sports 1’s weekly “UFC Tonight” news program.

On his recently launched podcast, “You’re Welcome with Chael Sonnen,” the 37-year-old fighter said he didn’t regret his PED use.

“I’m not going to apologize because I’m not sorry,” said Sonnen, who had previously criticized PED users. “I’m a consenting adult; I knew exactly what I was doing. This was a premeditated decision. If I go jump in my car and I back up and I hit my neighbor’s garbage cans, I’m sorry for that. This was a calculated decision. I made the decision, and I’ll live with it. That’s it. I wouldn’t make any excuses about it.”

Credit to MMA Junkie who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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