By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Chael Sonnen has once again found himself delayed in getting everything taken care of in order to make his return to the cage, as MMAJunkie.com reports that his licensing hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission has been pushed back from April 27 to mid-May.
Per the report the delay comes as Sonnen’s probation officer won’t clear him to enter Clark County next week due to the Laughlin River Run motorcycle rally. There is apparently a mandate in place to keep convicted felons out of the county during the rally after rampant violence at past versions of the annual rally, namely the 2002 rally that saw a brawl break out between rival motorcycle gangs The Mongols and Hells Angels. That brawl left three bikers dead and led to this “preemptive step” against any felons entering the county during subsequent rallys.
Sonnen will be appearing in front of the commission in an attempt to get himself re-licensed in the state both to fight and to corner other fighters. Sonnen admitted to using testosterone for what he claims is a diagnosed condition of hypogonadism for his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 117, and at his suspension appeal with the California State Athletic Commission in December, Sonnen stated he had been on the treatment prior to his UFC 109 fight with Nate Marquardt in Nevada, and that he had gotten approval from NSAC executive director Keith Kizer for the treatment.
He has since admitted that no such conversations took place, though he falls back on saying his manager spoke with Kizer and he claims he took his managers advice. Due to those statements, his TRT and more, there’s no guarantee he will be licensed by the state of Nevada. However, he will have a chance to answer the commission’s questions and they will then determine by a majority vote whether or not they will license him to fight and to corner others.
Penick’s Analysis: This circus is delayed a few weeks longer for Sonnen. This hearing with the NSAC is going to be interesting, and could turn into a similar mess as the one he had with the CSAC in December. Still, moving it to mid-May would still allow the UFC to tap him as one of the coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 14 if that’s the route they want to take, as the season won’t begin filming until June. I think signs are still pointing to that unfortunately being the case, but we’ll find out what the NSAC rules at that meeting next month before the next step can be determined.