Chael Sonnen’s latest suspension with the CSAC ended today. MMA Fighting confirmed with CSAC executive director George Dodd that Sonnen is now free to apply for a new license, however in California, he would have to appear before the commission once again before they would issue him a license.
“He can be removed from the suspension list and he is able to re-apply to any agency or any commission,” George Dodd, the Commission’s executive officer, told MMAFighting.com on Wednesday. “In California he would have to appear before the Commission before the Commission would license.”
“I don’t know if Chael plans on reapplying.” Dodd said, adding that if he applies elsewhere, “It would be up to that commission or licensing agency.”
“He’s back as far as he may be able to get licensed in other states,” Dodd said. “Whether he’s back is up to each individual organization to license him. I guess if he says he’s back he’s probably back into training, but I don’t know if he’s been licensed in any other state.”
It will be interesting to see what Chael Sonnen and the UFC does here. Sure, he can apply for a license in California, but there’s a big risk factor associated with that. If the commission decides not to grant him a license, he will be ineligible to reapply for another year. Under normal circumstances, it’s a risk worth taking, but he didn’t exactly endear himself to the commissioners in the last hearing, so there’s no telling how they might rule this time.
The other option is pulling a Josh Barnett and avoiding California altogether. He will most certainly run into problems in Nevada — Keith Kizer once stated that Sonnen needed to work out his issue with the CSAC before the NSAC — but he could probably get licensed in more lenient states like Texas. That’s not how the UFC traditionally conducts their business though and Dana White made it pretty clear in a past interview that despite his aversion to how the CSAC has handled the Sonnen case, Sonnen will still have to work out all his licensing issues before he can fight for the UFC again. That’s probably our answer, but crazier things have happened in this sport.
Chael hasn’t officially commented on the news, but he did send out this tweet.