Chael Sonnen continues to be the gift that keeps on giving to UFC blogs. The on again/off again MMA career of Sonnen is off again. In light of Sonnen’s “false testimony” and money laundering conviction, the CASC has re-suspended Sonnen‘s fight license indefinitely.
[adinserter block=”1″]On the surface it would appear that the CSAC is on some kind of a witch hunt against Sonnen. I can’t recall the last time someone has had as much trouble with state athletic commissions as Sonnen. However, when you look at the facts of the case and Sonnen’s continued ignorance regarding the matter it becomes incredibly difficult to offer up any kind of sympathy for the UFC fighter.
According to numerous reports, the CSAC has placed Sonnen on indefinite administration suspension. The CSAC cites Sonnen’s guilty plea in a recent money laundering case as well as what they have deemed to be false testimony he provided in a prior hearing. Sonnen and his lawyers will have a chance to plead their case on May 18 in Los Angeles.
The real issue with Sonnen and state athletic commissions seems to center around a conversation he claimed to have with Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer. During a hearing with the CSAC regarding his positive PED test, Sonnen claimed to have prior approval before the fight from Kizer in regards to his elevated levels of testosterone following his UFC 117 clash with Anderson Silva. Kizer vehemently denies any of these claims by Sonnen.
Instead of taking his lumps like a man, Sonnen made things a lot worse by making these claims under oath. Even worse, is that Sonnen continues to dance around this with excuse after excuse instead of just manning up and admitting he lied. In the end it appears that the cover up is what got Sonnen into deep trouble as opposed to the actual crime of the positive PED test itself.
Sonnen was already in the midst of a fight for his license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The NSAC wanted to speak with Sonnen on the record in regards to the alleged conversation he claims to have had with Kizer. That hearing has been delayed pending the outcome of Sonnen’s May 18 hearing in Los Angeles.
ESPN.com reports that the latest suspension puts Sonnen on the national database used by regulators to monitor medical and administrative bans, and asks North American regulatory bodies to contact California before issuing him a license to compete, corner, promote or act as a manager. Nevada will honor the suspension.
Sonnen was on track to coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter against Michael Bisping. Considering the fact that the announcement for coaches still has not been made, my hunch is that the UFC was still holding out hope that Sonnen’s troubles would all be resolved shortly. I imagine that the latest turn of events completely takes Sonnen out of the running. Even if Sonnen resolves all of his on May 18 with California, he still has to have a conversation with Nevada which is likely going to be very unpleasant.
It sounds harsh but Chael Sonnen’s MMA career is in serious jeopardy right now. He has nobody to blame but himself for his troubles. If Sonnen admitted to using PEDs he probably would have been suspended for a year and back without any troubles. Instead Sonnen is now in the midst of an indefinite suspension which could theoretically bring his career to an end depending upon how he approaches these hearings.
[adinserter block=”1″]One year ago Sonnen was riding the height of his MMA career. He singlehandedly turned a fight that nobody wanted to see into one of the biggest draws of 2010. In addition to the superstardom he achieved in MMA, he was seriously under consideration for a political run in his home state of Oregon. One year later he is convicted felon without a license to earn a living. For a guy that talked so much about honor and integrity leading into UFC 117, he was the last guy I would have expected to implode from his own indiscretions.
I think it is also fair to question what kind of toll this entire ordeal has taken on Sonnen. Even if Sonnen regains his license, how focused will he be going into his next fight? How easy will it be for his opponents to get inside of his head before fights? Hey, Sonnen took the gloves off with the things he said about Silva going into UFC 117 and angered a lot of UFC fighters. I can’t imagine that any one of them will show him any mercy before or after their fight.
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