Chael Sonnen Has To Be Approved By Commission To Coach TUF 13

December 13, 2010
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Chael Sonnen UFC 117

Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen’s recent suspension handed down from the California State Athletic Commission prevents him from fighting until after March 2, 2011, but it may also keep him from coaching on the next season of the “Ultimate Fighter.”

The Team Quest fighter was suspended earlier in December for six months stemming from a failed drug test after his August fight against Anderson Silva. The suspension was reduced from one year to six months, which would end in March next year.

As far as fighting goes, Sonnen will then re-apply for a license to be able to compete again.

Sonnen has also been rumored to be a leading candidate to take over the coaching duties for the 13th season of the “Ultimate Fighter” reality show opposite Wanderlei Silva. Filming is expected to begin in early 2011, but it wouldn’t happen without approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, tells that Sonnen would have to apply first and the commission would have to approve his license to coach on the show.

“He would need a second’s license from the Commission,” Kizer wrote in an e-mail to “If he applies for such a license, his application would be placed on a Commission agenda for hearing and decision.”

As of now, Sonnen has not applied for such a license, but UFC president Dana White has already stated that he would not decide on who would coach the show for at least a few more days.

In 2007, Nick Diaz, who was under suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a positive test for marijuana, was not allowed to receive a cornerman’s licence to help with his brother Nate Diaz’s fight in Las Vegas during the “Ultimate Fighter” season 5 finale.

It’s unknown if the commission would hold Sonnen’s suspension similarly, but it would be reviewed before anything could be approved.

  • I’m confused, what kind of license would he need to coach the show? A corner-man’s license for when the fights happen maybe? Or is a “second’s license” specific to coaching?

    Anyone have any insight on this?

  • A second’s license is in reference to a corner man’s license, they are one and the same. So yes, basically, Kizer is saying that he needs a license to be able to corner fighters on the show.

    • Just for the sake of discussion, if he applied for and was denied a “second’s license” (which is likely) couldn’t he still perform the duties of TUF coach and just be absent from the fights? Kind of an end around play to keep him on the show.

      The show serves two major purposes: building and marketing promising new fighters and PPV hype machine for the coach’s fight. If Zuffa really wants Wanderlei and Chael on the show I think they’ll find a way make it happen.

      For the record, I hope it doesn’t work out. This is a terrible fight for Wanderlei especially after such a long lay off from injury and surgery.

  • collideoverme

    Wow, Chael Sonnen and my favorite fighter of all time Wanderlei Silva. I would have to watch that for sure.

  • From Sonnen’s twitter:

    “It’s for the best. I would have embarrassed you from the opening take to the final wrap. Take 2 weeks off, evaluate your career, then quit.”
    about 7 hours ago via web

    I interpret that post as confirmation that he and Wanderlei will not be coaching the next season of TUF.