Embattled UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen just can’t catch a break.
After a year which has seen him absolutely put through the ringer — albeit mostly, if not completely, for his own missteps — Sonnen was recently denied an appeal of his indefinite suspension from the California State Athletic Commission and it looked as though he would be unable to reapply for a fighter’s license for one year, but it was later revealed that he would be able to reapply at the expiration of his current license. His current license expires on June 29, but his application must be approved by the CSAC.
Though some will be glad at Sonnen’s prolonged absence, UFC president Dana White spoke with Heavy.com recently and lamented the tribulations that the Oregonian has endured.
“I’m pretty bummed out about the Chael Sonnen thing, and the way this thing was handled,” said White. “I don’t know if there has ever been a penalty laid down… I mean Tyson, when Tyson bit the ear, he got a year. It’s pretty crazy.”
During his hearing, Sonnen explained to the panel that he would essentially be forced to retire should his suspension not be lifted. White explained that this isn’t exactly the case, but that Sonnen has missed out on some great opportunities as a result of his lengthy punishment and he doesn’t exactly believe that the former realtor got a fair shake from the commissions.
“It’s not that he’d have to retire,” said White. “But right now was his opportunity. This kid had the opportunity to coach ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ He had the opportunity to get a big fight set up, should he win that fight. Everybody knows what happened with Anderson Silva. This was a key moment in this kid’s career.
“You’ve heard me say it for almost 11 years, we always support what the athletic commission says, but this kid got it stuck to him,” he continued. “He’s paid his dues in every way, shape and form, and I think he’s been treated a bit unfairly.”
Sonnen last appeared in action at UFC 117 last August against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Sonnen gave Silva his toughest test in a title fight to date, but succumbed to a triangle choke late in the fifth round.