Chael Sonnen Can Re-Apply for a License in California on May 18, 2012

May 19, 2011
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The saga of Chael Sonnen continued on Thursday when the California State Athletic Commission determined the timeline for the fighter’s punishment.

On a vote of 4-1 on Wednesday, the commission upheld Sonnen’s indefinite suspension within the state, effectively putting him out of action.

The commission has now finalized Sonnen’s timeline as to when he would be able to re-apply for a license in the state. According to the California State Athletic Commission, Sonnen’s suspension will run through his current license expires on June 29, 2011.

Folllowing the expiration of his license, Sonnen will not be able to re-apply for a new license in the state until at least May 18, 2012. At that time, Sonnne can re-apply for a license in the state of California, but there are still no guarantees he will be approved.

It was previously believed that Sonnen would not be eligible to re-apply for a license until June 2012, presumably one year after his current license expires, but the commission ruled on Thursday to make it one year from the date of the hearing.

With Sonnen’s suspension and licensing issue in California, the fighter can technically go to other states to try and be approved for a license, but most states will likely honor the ruling form California.

The verdict handed down on Wednesday may have cost Sonnen not only a chance to coach on the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but his shot at a number one contender’s match against Michael Bisping.

As of now, Sonnen is effectively on the shelf unless the UFC opts to pursue a fight for him in a state that would give him a license or in an area such as the United Kingdom where no athletic commission is present.

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  • I think we’ll see him fight before the end of the year. With his California license expiring at the end of June there is nothing really stopping him from applying for a license in other states.

    While established commissions like Nevada and New Jersey will likely opt not to license him because of California’s “indefinite/1 year suspension” (explain that, LOL), other states like Texas will probably give him the green light (See Antonio Margarito).

    At the end of the day it all boils down to what the brass at Zuffa wants to do. I expect them to remain quiet for a while and let the dust settle. I’m sure there will be some “behind the scenes” talks with various state athletic commissions (including Ca and Nv so as not to burn any bridges) then they’ll book him for a fight.

  • ShockednAwed

    I hope you’re right. The only hurdle I can see, as you point out, would be any potential political fallout. It’s not like they don’t go to England enough to keep him on the active roster.

  • Interesting quote from Kizer that I saw on another website:

    “Nevada State Athletic Commission Keith Kizer said a second’s license is out of the question before Sonnen’s current suspension ends, though the restrictions will be lifted after June 29.

    “My understanding is that he’s free to apply for either license after June 29,” Kizer said today. “However, he will have to appear before the commission on those applications. Before that date, we have to honor the California suspensions.””

  • Looks like my first post was correct. Check out Josh Gross’ Twitter:!/joshgrossespn

    CSAC just sent out a press release correcting Chael Sonnen’s length of suspension. He is free to apply anywhere, including Calif., June 29.


    CSAC misinterpreted Rule 399 that applied to the revocation or denial of a license. It does not apply to a suspension.