By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Chael Sonnen was sentenced on Friday for his guilty plea in a money laundering case in the state of Oregon.
Mike Chiappetta at MMAFighting.com reports that Sonnen was sentenced to 24 months of probation and handed a $10,000 fine from his January 3 guilty plea. In addition, Sonnen forfeited his real estate license. His sentencing was handed down by Judge Michael W. Mosman in Portland, Ore.
Sonnen admitted to being a party in a fraudulent transaction involving the sale of a home in Oregon in 2006, and with his guilty plea the prosecution recommended the sentence he was handed down on Friday.
This incident was simply another in a series of issues Sonnen needed to deal with in the last year, beginning with failing a steroid test at UFC 117 last summer. After getting his suspension reduced in December to six months in a hearing with the California State Athletic Commission, this money laundering case came to light and led to Sonnen and the UFC mutually agreeing to freeze his contract.
Now that this sentence has been handed down, Sonnen and the UFC will work towards getting him back into the cage. However, he’ll need to get licensed by a commission before his return, and that may not be an easy process.
Penick’s Analysis: Because he admitted to steroid use for what he has claimed is a legitimate need for testosterone replacement therapy, he’s now going to need to prove that to the commissions in order to get approval for the treatment. That is the next step, and if he is not approved for the treatment by the commissions and pops for use again, then he’d be in a whole different level of trouble with the commissions. Regardless of his claims of necessity, Sonnen never went through the proper channels to make his claims legitimate in the eyes of the commission. The fact that the CSAC reduced his suspension is not vindication for Sonnen on this issue, like many still unfortunately believe. He succeeded in muddying the issue enough and causing enough confusion with commission members at the end of a long meeting to get them to make a rash reduction in his sentence despite providing zero evidence that he properly disclosed or had cleared the treatment he claimed was necessary. That’s what he’s still got to answer for, and that, along with flat out lying about similar approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, is what could complicate things going forward.