UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen will not be meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission in May as originally planned. He instead finds himself under suspension again in California and will appear before the state’s athletic commission next week to appeal its recent decision.
Sonnen had been trying to regain his license to fight again in Nevada, thinking his time had been served in California.
When asked about Sonnen’s current status in Nevada, NSAC executive director Keith Kizer, in an e-mail response, directed MMAWeekly.com to the California State Athletic Commission.
CSAC executive director George Dodd revealed that Sonnen has recently been placed under indefinite administrative suspension by the commission. He will have a hearing on May 18 to appeal the commission’s decision.
“Chael completed his suspension for the athletic commission just recently, so he still had time on his license here in California, and what we did, we put him on a California State Administrative Suspension for the remainder of his license, until he appeared before the commission,” Dodd told MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday.
“We sent Chael a letter and he’s requested to appear in front of the commission to appeal his suspension. Currently, we have the date of May 18 for next week for his appeal of his current suspension.”
In explaining the suspension, Dodd indicated that Nevada has decided to uphold California’s ruling, honoring Sonnen’s current administrative suspension.
“It’s kind of like the (Antonio) Margarito hearing (in boxing), where we had him on an indefinite suspension. Each state can make a determination of what they want to do with him, but Nevada and a lot of other states work together, and they honor each other’s suspensions,” Dodd stated.
“They have chose to honor our suspension.”
The California State Athletic Commission originally ruled in December that Sonnen would be suspended for a total of six months with that suspension coming to a close in early March.
Dodd stated that Sonnen’s current administrative suspension is due to two factors, which the Team Quest fighter will respond to when he meets with the commission on May 18.
“It’s based off two things. One, his pleading guilty to his felony conviction up in Oregon, as well as possibly providing false testimony during his hearing back in December.”
Sonnen’s felony conviction stems from a charge of Federal money laundering. He was sentenced to 24 months of probation and a $10,000 fine, as well as having his real estate license revoked.
Dodd did not provide details of the alleged false testimony, but it likely stems from a statement Sonnen made during his original testimony with the California State Athletic Commission in December, when he referenced a conversation he stated he had with Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer about his testosterone therapy.
Later in his testimony, Sonnen clarified that it was actually his coach, Matt Lindland, that spoke to Kizer and not him directly, but the original statement has been bandied about in reports and may have caused some of Sonnen’s recent problems in gaining re-licensure in Nevada.
MMAWeekly.com attempted to contact Sonnen and his management team at MMA Incorporated, but they were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.