Chael Sonnen no longer under suspension, free to apply for state licensePosted on June 29, 2011, 06:35 PM by Joey Santosus
Top Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has completed his suspension and is now eligible to apply for a fight license in any state he wishes.
The suspension was initially handed down by the California State Athletic Commission following Sonnen's failed attempt at dethroning division Champion Anderson Silva in August. After a dominant performance by the Team Quest fighter resulted in a (literally) last minute submission victory for Silva, insult was added to injury when the commission announced Sonnen had tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
To further compound his troubles, the former title challenger successfully had his penalties reduced through appeal, only to be served with an additional suspension in May when the testimony he provided at the hearing was found to be falsified. These along with other unrelated legal troubles appeared to leave his future in the sport uncertain at times, but according to CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd (via MMAFighting.com), things may finally be beginning to turn around for Sonnen:
"He can be removed from the suspension list and he is able to re-apply to any agency or any commission. In California he would have to appear before the Commission before the Commission would license.
He's back as far as he may be able to get licensed in other states. Whether he's back is up to each individual organization to license him. I guess if he says he's back, he's probably back into training, but I don't know if he's been licensed in any other state."
In addition to being unable to capitalize on the tremendous drawing power he had accumulated in the weeks prior to his UFC 117 fight with Silva, Sonnen was forced to forego an opportunity to coach opposite Michael Bisping on the coming season of the promotion's The Ultimate Fighter reality show. The position would have undoubtedly reignited Sonnen's once red hot career and opened the door for a second shot at the division title had he defeated Bisping in the match-up that was to follow.
Where the consensus number two Middleweight in the world goes from here is unclear, however during his extended layoff, a laundry list of competitors have requested a shot at him. Though he will likely face an uphill battle in re-obtaining his fight license, namely in the promotion's home state of Nevada, UFC President Dana White has recently stated that he would like to see him return to action "A.S.A.P."
Photo: Chael Sonnen, right, fights Yushin Okami at UFC 104 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on October 24, 2009. Francis Specker