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Category: UFC

What Lies Ahead of Chael Sonnen?

Written on May 20, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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From one case to another, Chael Sonnen's future is now in doubt after the CSAC indefinitely upholds his suspension.

Last Wednesday, the () voted 4-1 to uphold an indefinite suspension for the UFC middleweight fighter, . The decision now makes it impossible for the fighter to coach at the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter, opposite .

Last April 19, the CSAC announced that Chael Sonnen was indefinitely suspended for two violations of the California Code of Regulations, Title 4, Section 390. The UFC middleweight talent was deemed to have violated section 390 by making untruthful statements under oath at a December 2 hearing, and for pleading guilty to a charge in Oregon on April 8. Last Wednesday’s hearing focused on Chael Sonnen’s guilty plea for , a month after his six month suspension was lifted. In addition to this, the commission also paid attention to the fighter’s claim about his alleged conversations with () Executive Officer, .

Steve Thompson, Chael Sonnen’s attorney, argued that the judge in the Oregon case gave the fighter a merciful sentence because of his citizenship and remorse. The attorney also pointed out the fighter’s community service and the attached letters from families whose lives were positively impacted by Chael Sonnen. With regards to Chael Sonnen’s alleged conversation with Keith Kizer, Atty. Steve Thompson reiterates the adjective ‘imprecise’ to describe the fighter’s words. He also added that the UFC middleweight tried his best to answer all inquiries and that he has no intentions to mislead.

Finally, Chael Sonnen and his attorneys described to the commission the stark contrast in the fighter’s future, depending on CSAC’s decision. If Chael Sonnen’s license remained suspended, UFC President – – has informed that he will be effectively retired. Otherwise, he could attempt to apply for a license in Nevada. As what Chael Sonnen soberly stated during the hearing:

“I’ve worked for this chance my whole life, since I was nine, and I don’t want to retire today. I volunteered in my community 18 hours a week the last decade. Never had a drop of alcohol in my life. Never smoked anything. I’m dubbed by Sports Illustrated and ESPN the greatest [Sonnen spelled out an expletive] talker in all of sports. The reality is I’ve never used profanity. Using [spelled-out expletive] a moment ago is the closest I’ve come to using profanity. I’m truly embarrassed from the last hearing and until now… I will not make these mistakes again. I will not ask for forgiveness again. Please just let me go back to work.”

However, the CSAC proved unsympathetic to Chael Sonnen’s claims, with each commissioner citing both the Oregon conviction and the December testimony as reasons for upholding the fighter’s suspension. Before the final vote, Chael Sonnen’s friends and family present in the hearing voiced their frustrations with the decision. One of the fighter’s attorneys continued to plead, but the CSAC informed that there could be no further discussions after the hearing.

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