With his suspension lifted and his time in the courtroom behind him, Chael Sonnen is closer than ever to heading back to work in the UFC, and reminding everyone why he may be the ‘most interesting man in MMA.’
That said, all of the conversations about Sonnen coaching on “The Ultimate Fighter” or possibly facing Michael Bisping have to be put on hold, because he has other business to tend to first.
During his hearing before the California State Athletic Commission that resulted in Sonnen being suspended for six months, he stated that he had previously spoken to Nevada State Athletic Commission director Keith Kizer about his testosterone therapy and had been approved by that state previously.
Kizer immediately rebuked those statements, and now Sonnen will have to speak to the commission before they will consider re-licensing him. Speaking to and resolving things with the Nevada State Athletic commission, according to Sonnen’s manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc, is priority number one.
“He’s excited, but he’s nowhere near done. He’s still got to go to Nevada and appear before the athletic commission, and talk to Mr. Kizer so they can iron out exactly what needs to be ironed out. Hopefully they’ll grant him a license and allow him to compete and make a living,” Roberts said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio.
“He hasn’t fought since August and he needs to make a living. He’s got a mother and a sister, he’s got a family that depends on him to make a living, so the sooner we can get him back in the cage, the better off he’s going to be.”
Talk had started to buzz that Sonnen was in the running to coach the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show opposite Michael Bisping. Again, Roberts insists that while Sonnen may have interest in that down the road, none of it matters without the Nevada State Athletic Commission granting him a license.
“Honestly, we’re not even thinking about that until he’s able to get Nevada straightened out with the commission and Mr. Kizer. If they’re gracious enough to grant him a license, then we’ll definitely entertain that idea and see if they want him to fight or coach TUF, or do whatever,” Roberts commented.
As of Monday, Sonnen did not have a set date to appear in front of the commission, but it appears that he will likely have his time with Kizer and others at the end of April.
“What’s important to Chael right now is just getting the situation with Nevada resolved,” said Roberts. “It’s all about making things right with the Nevada Athletic Commission.”
If things are resolved with the commission, Sonnen will be ready to go back to work for the UFC in whatever capacity they see fit. Be it as a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” or taking on the likes of a Michael Bisping or Anderson Silva in the Octagon.
One thing is for sure, with Sonnen back in any form, the MMA world just got a little more interesting.
“Isn’t the MMA world a better place with Chael back?” Roberts joked.