It appears fans may have seen the last of Chael Sonnen in a ring after a vote earlier today by the California State Athletic Commission resulted in the outspoken middleweight’s indefinite suspension being upheld meaning he will not be able to reapply for a license in the state until mid-2012. Though the involved amount of time is not necessarily a career-killer, Sonnen explained that an inability to clear his name at today’s function would likely lead to him hanging up his gloves for good. Whether or not the statement was an emotional appeal to officials or a genuine statement of his intent to retire remains to be seen.
Sonnen’s current circumstances stem from a series of infractions in both his personal and professional life involving his recent role in a federal money laundering case, as well as testing positive for increased testosterone after his fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 117 and following it up with disingenuous testimony in follow-up meeting with the CSAC.
Though his original suspension for injecting an illegal substance into his body is set to expire in early May, Sonnen’s sentence was compounded by an additional State-specific year handed out based on both his legal situation and having fabricated a story to the CSAC about receiving approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission to use prescribed testosterone at UFC 109 in February 2010.
Sonnen will be technically free to apply to fight outside of California by the end of next month based on time-served for the drug testing results. However, the latter punishment will likely keep him sidelined until May 18, 2012 regardless of location based the tendency of State athletic commissions to respect all rulings and the UFC’s desire to maintain a positive relationship with officials.
If the brash 34-year old grappler does indeed decide to retire he will exit MMA with a slew of soundbytes and skillful performances attached to his name despite his recent struggles. Sonnen holds an overall record of 25-11-1 in his career including notable wins over Trevor Prangley, Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and many more.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC