Ultimate Fighting Championship trash-talking aficionado Chael Sonnen rarely finds himself at a loss for words.
Yet that's precisely the position Sonnen was put in by light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, however briefly, last week during a conference call to hype their announcement as opposing coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter."
While Sonnen is always well-armed with quips, he couldn't muster a response to a Jones rant about the fairness of testosterone replacement therapy, for which Sonnen has been granted Therapeutic Use Exemptions, and without which Sonnen has said he would be unable to fight.
After Sonnen made a comment about how he would enter the fight in better shape than Jones, the champion asked whether that would be on or off TRT treatment.
Sonnen asked to change the subject, but Jones pressed on, in a likely hint at how he will respond to most of Sonnen's bluster on the reality show.
"I think TRT is terrible if you're gonna consider yourself an athlete. TRT would be perfect for Chael Sonnen if he wasn't (competing) in one of the most difficult sports in world," Jones said. "Right now I'm 25, and I'm sure I'm not as happy-go-lucky as I was at 20. If I took a drug to make me like I was at 20, people would hate me."
Sonnen, who was suspended in 2010 for elevated levels of testosterone and has spoken about the subject at length with both the Nevada and California state athletic commissions, was clearly uncomfortable continuing the conversation.
"I don't have any comment on the topic," he said.
Jones seems to have found a soar spot for which Sonnen does not have a quip on the tip of his tongue. Expect this to be a running issue once filming starts in Las Vegas next week and the show begins to air in January.
It's clear that Sonnen wants no part of discussing a private matter that has landed him in hot water in the past. He will no doubt be working on ways to combat what looks like Jones' preferred line of verbal attack.
■ DAVIS IN FOR SONNEN - With Sonnen stepping up to coach against and eventually fight Jones, Forrest Griffin was left without an opponent for his Dec. 29 fight at UFC 155 in the MGM Grand Garden.
The UFC announced Phil Davis has accepted the fight and will step in for Sonnen.
Tickets for the event, which includes a heavyweight title bout between Cain Velasquez and champion Junior dos Santos, go on sale this week.
■ CARWIN, NELSON TESTED - The Nevada Athletic Commission selected Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson to be randomly drug tested late last week.
The tests are part of an out-of-competition testing program that has been in place for several years, but was reinstituted last year after budgetary limitations had temporarily halted it.
The heavyweights, who are serving as the current coaches on "TUF," will fight Dec. 15 at The Palms. Nelson and Carwin were given a list of acceptable testing facilities in their area and given a short period of time, believed to be 24 hours, to submit to a screening.
The results are expected back to the commission within a week.
■ RIDDLE, RIVERA LOSE WINS - Matt Riddle and Francisco Rivera each had victories from UFC 149 overturned to no contests due to positive drug tests after the July event in Calgary.
Rivera's positive test resulted from an undisclosed over-the-counter stimulant. Riddle tested positive for marijuana.
Riddle, a Las Vegas resident, took to Twitter to post a picture of his Nevada driver's license that lists him as a medicinal marijuana user.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.