(We may never get to see if Chael’s armbar defense has improved since last time they met.)
The immediate redo promised by UFC president Dana White was originally delayed due to Silva needing time to recover from a rib injury his camp revealed he went into the August 7 fight with.
Then Sonnen threw another wrench in the UFC’s plans by testing positive for high levels of synthetic testosterone, but after having his suspension halved for pleading ignorance and confusion about the rules and procedures of the California State Athletic Commission, it seemed like the much anticipated bout would finally happen.
That was before Sonnen was brought up on federal money laundering charges in relation to a shady real estate deal and Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer made a stink about comments Sonnen made during his CSAC hearing that the main reason he didn’t get approval from the governing body for his fight with Silva was because Kizer had okayed his testosterone use in Nevada and he and his manager were under the impression that the approval was observed by all of the regulating bodies under the Association of Boxing Commissions blanket.
The problem is, Kizer says not only has he never spoken directly with Sonnen, he never approved his hormone replacement therapy and likely will not even if an application is made. A recent face-to-face between the pair and the powers that be from the UFC didn’t go as planned (as in Sonnen apologizing and kissing Kizer’s ass so he could be granted a license to fight in Nevada after his issue in California) and now, in spite of the fact that his criminal issues seem to be settled, Chael is back in the undecisive place he was prior to his CSAC hearing in December, wondering when he will be able to fight again.
According to White, who froze the Oregon fighter’s contract last year while he dealt with his commission and legal woes, he wants to see Sonnen back in the Octagon ASAP, but says that Chael had “a ton of problems” to deal with before that happens.
Kizer siad yesterday that a more formal hearing with Sonnen will have to take place before he is granted a new license in which the Team Quest fighter will be asked to answer for his comments to CSAC as well as his remarks following his WEC 31 loss to Paulo Filho that referee Josh Rosenthal made a mistake in saying he tapped out to the armbar applied by the WEC middleweight champion that ended the bout in the second round. The earliest opening for the meeting would be the April 27.
It seems like White might be sick of waiting for Sonnen to make things right.
According to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, in spite of the UFC middleweight champ’s recent declaration that he isn’t interested in fighting outside of his 185-pound class, Silva will defend his title against Yushin Okami in Rio de Janeiro in August and will then likely move up to light heavyweight, meaning that Sonnen’s ship has likely sailed for a rematch with “The Spider.” The reason for the jump, Nogueira says is the lack of contenders to Jon Jones‘ strap in the light heavyweight class.
Nogueira revealed the revelation in his most recent column for Tatame, which was translated by Fighters Only.
With Silva making the jump to 205 and the fact that the fight with Wanderlei Silva he had been coveting likely won’t happen any time soon since “The Axe Murderer” is taking on Chris Leben at UFC 132 in July, two possible opponents who could be earmarked to take on Chael are Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping. A consummate gamesman, Sonnen has laid the groundwork for bouts with both men by throwing verbal jabs at each of them the past few months.
Considering past disparaging remarks he has made about Brazil and its residents, it’s unlikely that the UFC would put Sonnen in the physical danger of fighting Belfort in Rio, but that depends on just how pissed off Dana is with him.