No stranger to controversy himself, UFC middleweight Michael Bisping has found sympathy for his rival Chael Sonnen over the verdict rendered by the California State Athletic Commission in his recent appeal to an indefinite suspension.
Owing to various circumstances where Sonnen found himself in hot water — a guilty plea in a federal money laundering case related to real estate fraud, a tangle with the CSAC over the improper disclosure of his therapeutic usage of synthetic testosterone which led to a hearing and suspension, his testimony during which was found inconsistent and led to his most recent suspension — he has been out of action and waging battles on multiple fronts since his August title fight loss to Anderson Silva.
Though they’ve openly traded verbal jabs, Bisping recently told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com that he feels for Sonnen and believes that MMA will suffer from his absence.
“I’m disappointed. I’ve been sitting on the sidelines for a while now and I think pretty much everybody can work out that I was hoping to fight Chael Sonnen, and we were waiting to hear if he was going to clear up his personal problems,” said Bisping. “Obviously today we found out that he’s been indefinitely suspended.
“It’s a shame for the guy. I really do feel for him. We’re all human beings; we all make mistakes. He’s being punished, and OK, he’s made some very, very bad decisions lately, but no one’s perfect — I’m certainly not perfect — and I feel for the guy. By the sounds of it, he’s stuffed in his career as a realtor and he’s also screwed as an MMA fighter at the moment. He’s an exciting fighter, and I think it’s a shame for him; it’s a shame for mixed martial arts.”