“I’m pretty bummed out about the Chael Sonnen thing and the way that the whole thing was handled. You know, this guy… I don’t know if there’s ever been a penalty laid down, I mean Tyson, I think when Tyson bit the ear, Tyson got a year. Um… it’s pretty crazy… Listen, it’s not that he’d have to retire, 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 and me, personally, you know, you’ve heard me say it for the last almost 11 years, we always support whatever the athletic commission says… This kid got, this kid got it stuck to him, man. He paid his dues in every way shape and form and I think he’s been treated a bit unfairly.”
For the public lambasting Dana White does, it’s actually pretty rare to see him criticize an athletic commission, so you know Dana had to be pissed when the CSAC voted to uphold Sonnen’s latest suspension if he’s doing it now.
It’s an interesting situation, because fan reaction has been pretty divided on this one. Some people think Sonnen got what he deserved and should never be allowed to fight again, while others think he’s already paid his dues and the CSAC “stuck it to him” as Dana so eloquently put it. To be honest, I’m not really bothered by the CSAC upholding his suspension because let’s not forget that he should have been serving a 12 month suspension in the first place if the CSAC didn’t cave like they always do when a fighter pushes back (without clear exonerating evidence) at an appeal hearing. So no, I don’t really feel bad for Chael if he has to wait an extra month to reapply for his license. However, if he had to wait another year like the CSAC initially stated or they reject his application this summer and he still has to wait that year, then yeah, I think that would be overly excessive.
Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog