In an effort to regain his license to fight, Chael Sonnen testified today in front of the California State Athletic Commission in Los Angeles. He was asked questions about prior testimony in his positive steroid test case from UFC 117 and his recent real estate scam run-in with the feds in Oregon. Sonnen even mentioned the fact that he's been offered a slot on the UFC's reality show "The Ultimate Fighter," and said if even he wasn't licensed the commission is effectively retiring him.
Apparently, he couldn't do a thing to alter the commission's stance. The commission voted 4-1 in favor of keeping his license in suspended status.
With the help of ESPN.com's Josh Gross and MMAjunkie's Steven Marrocco, Cage Potato recapped some of the major moments of the hearing:
- Sonnen did his best to shift blame about his testosterone therapy statements, saying Matt Lindland informed him that he was cleared for TRT in Nevada and California. Sonnen admitted that he never had a conversation with the NSAC's Keith Kizer about it, and never intended to make it sound like he did.
- Kizer testified that he had a conversation with Matt Lindland in 2008 about a therapeutic use exemption, but Sonnen's name wasn't brought up specifically. Kizer pointed out a false statement in a previous declaration from Sonnen, in which he said that the NSAC told him not to declare testosterone injections in his pre-fight medical questionnaire.
- Sonnen became emotional while giving testimony about his fighting career. His eyes welled up as he discussed the opportunities he'd be missing out on if he wasn't re-licensed, including a "once in a lifetime" coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter, which could lead to a title shot if he beat his rival coach (Michael Bisping). "If I don't get my license today I'm effectively retired," Sonnen said. "That came from the boss, Dana White…I worked for this chance my whole life. I don't want to retire today."
So there's a chance Sonnen could get re-licensed elsewhere outside of California, but that doesn't mean his status would change in Nevada. Why is Nevada important? That's where TUF is taped.
Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, has said repeatedly that Sonnen needs a license to coach on TUF. Sonnen confirmed during the hearing that he was offered a coaching against Michael Bisping on TUF 14. Gross reported that Sonnen needs his license re-established by June 5 to be eligible.