Chael Sonnen Suspended by the UFC; Akiyama Fight Likely Off for March

January 4, 2011
Comments off
Chael Sonnen UFC 117

Chael Sonnen

The trials and tribulations of UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen continued on Tuesday, as the promotion suspended the one time championship contender to encourage him to focus on his personal life. spoke to UFC president Dana White who commented on the suspension, which is technically the promotion’s way of freezing his contract for the time being, and then when he has things sorted out he can return to the Octagon.

“Chael Sonnen has gone through a lot in the last few months and we think it’s important for him to focus on getting his personal life together before focusing on his career in the UFC,” White told

“I spoke with Chael earlier today and he agrees that setting priorities in his life is the best thing for him right now. I sincerely hope Chael is able to straighten out his personal life.”

The issues that White spoke about came to light on Monday when Sonnen pled guilty in Federal court to a money laundering charge that will likely result in a $10,000 fine, two years of probation, and the revoking of his real estate license.

Sonnen had already come under scrutiny after his drug test following UFC 117 in August came back for elevated levels of testosterone, and he was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission. Sonnen’s sentence was eventually reduced to six months, which runs through March 2.

Earlier on Tuesday, reported that Sonnen had agreed to meet Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128, but with the suspension issued by the UFC later in the day, the fight is now likely off the table, at least for March.

Sonnen will go back to court in late March for his sentencing after pleading guilty to the money laundering charge, but with the suspension from the UFC there is no time table for his return to fighting.

This sets a new precedent for the UFC in regards to athletes lives outside the Octagon. The promotion has not taken a public stance in the past in regards to an actual suspension when a fighter has come under fire for legal or personal reasons.

The UFC has in the past however “frozen” a contract for personal reasons. When former UFC lightweight Matt Grice entered the police academy in his home state of Oklahoma, the promotion allowed him to take the time off to complete his training before picking back up the remainder of his contract when he returned.

Sonnen has yet to make a public statement since he entered the guilty plea on Monday or the latest news of the UFC suspension on Tuesday.

  • I think they’ll “reinstate” him after his court date in March (pretty sure it’s March) when he is officially sentenced.

    Hope it all works out for him.

  • CDiddy

    I don’t understand all the Sonnen nut huggers… He was awful until he started up on the juice and the only good thing about him is his witty banter… He brags that he only has to work out 3 hours a day and that he has a full time job and nobody else in MMA has a full time job… ALL lies… He works out 3 hours a day b/c he’s on steroids, he LOST his job b/c he’s shady and I hope this ruins his career in politics… He’s a FAKE… All around FAKE… He should just be a colour commentator…

    • wonggfan

      Yeah, although I wouldn’t put him in the same ranks as Mir and Tito, I am sick of him too.

      Only reason why I am even putting him above Mir and Tito is because he is joking 1/2 the times just to be funny.

      It’s not funny any more.

      Chael = Clown
      Mir = annoying
      Tito = garbage

  • ^^^ Gotten to. LOL

  • Hopefully he can get his personal life straightened out and come back ready to fight. Whatever he does on his own time has no affect on my like or dislike of him as a fighter.

    • CDiddy

      What about what he does as a fighter? Cheating? On steroids? And then he gets some doctor saying Sonnen’s body couldn’t endure the strenuous training involved in fighting without the shots? Are you serious? He’s been wrestling as long as he can walk but NOW he needs these shots? So full of s#it man… He’s so good at getting his way though… Am I the only one who sees what a fraud he is? He sucks anyway!!! Before the roids he was terrible…

  • grimsgrind

    Chael is so pathetic, hopefully he’ll leave the UFC for good and we won’t have to be poisoned with corrupted junky politician ways. FUCK SONNEN YOU CHEATING JUNKY FUCK.

  • wonggfan

    It’s because Chael Sonnen has crossed the line.

    At first people cheered because they thought he was just funny. But he didn’t stop. He just went on and on with his smack talking. I mean he dissed pretty much every legend in the game in one way or another.

    Then he put a beating to Anderson. Some people were fed up with Chael by then but overall he still had popularity. Although he talked a lot of bs, people thought he did an awesome job against Anderson.

    Then the roid. And a lot of people by this time were completely done with this clown.

    And recently he came on MMA Live and talked some more shit about other fighters after making up a ridiculous excuse about his roid case.

    Finally, this crap.