Dana White: What Happened to Chael Sonnen Is Insane

May 25, 2011

Chael Sonnen at the May 18 CSAC hearing

Chael Sonnen at the May 18 CSAC hearing

Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere the past couple of weeks, you’ve undoubtedly been inundated by the coverage of Chael Sonnen’s latest attempt to get his license reinstated in California, and the controversy that has swirled around the case.

Sonnen was suspended following a drug test for his UFC 117 bout with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, testing hot for elevated levels of testosterone. The case swirled as Sonnen said he disclosed testosterone as a treatment for a condition called hypogonadism to California State Athletic Commission executive director George Dodd, although he didn’t follow the proper procedure in doing so.

He faced a hearing in December, where his one-year suspension was reduced to six months and a $2,500 fine was upheld by the CSAC.

Following his time served, Sonnen applied for a license in Nevada, but then, all of a sudden, he was put under an administrative suspension in California. Dodd told MMAWeekly.com the more recent suspension was because of questions about Sonnen’s recent conviction for a Federal money laundering charge in Oregon and “his (December) testimony (about) his discussion that he had with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.”

The end result of a new hearing in May? Sonnen was left under suspension until June 29, 2011. The day after the hearing, he was told that he would also not be allowed to apply for a new license until June of 2012. The athletic commission then backtracked on that decision, issuing a statement that it had incorrectly interpreted a California regulation, and saying that Sonnen would be able to re-apply after June 29, 2011.

Most in attendance at the hearing came away with the impression that, from the onset, Sonnen was not going to sway the commission in his favor.

UFC president Dana White, following Wednesday’s UFC 130 prefight press conference, didn’t mince words when MMAWeekly.com asked him about the hearing.

“I’m not a big fan of how that turned out… at all. I think what happened to Chael Sonnen is absolutely insane. It’s unjust. It’s unfair.”

White confirmed that Sonnen, had he been reinstated, was in line to coach the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite Michael Bisping with the two squaring off following the season’s conclusion. A victory might have propelled him into another title shot against Anderson Silva, whom Sonnen bested for the better part of four and a half rounds in their first battle, before succumbing to Silva’s submission prowess.

“He has an opportunity where he could come in, he could coach a show. If he wins that fight, he could move on and possibly get another fight with Anderson Silva.

“They have this window of opportunity where they can actually make some money. He’s right there. He’s in that position,” said White.

“That opportunity was taken away from him in a way that I think was amazingly, incredibly unfair.”