(Galvao may have the accolades, but he’s never dealt with an elite-level oil-check artist like Sonnen. /Photo via Sherdog)
Chael Sonnen’s jiu-jitsu coach Fabiano Scherner confirmed to MMAFighting.com last night that Sonnen will indeed travel to Los Angeles for his scheduled headliner against Andre Galvao at the Metamoris 4 grappling event on Saturday. Sonnen runs the risk of being fined hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, for violating his two-year suspension from competition. But as the man himself put it…
It should be pointed out that the NSAC’s ability to fine Sonnen for competing in a grappling competition in California is still a major point of contention. Earlier this month, Sonnen’s lawyer Ross Goodman sent NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar a letter explaining why a jiu-jitsu competition doesn’t fall under the commission’s jurisdiction:
“The term ‘unarmed combat’ is defined in NRS 467.0107 as ‘boxing or any form of competition in which a blow is usually struck which may reasonably be expected to inflict injury. There is no dispute that the NSAC has no jurisdiction or authority to regulate, license or sanction jiu-jitsu and other forms of grappling. Moreover, jiu-jitsu does not fall within the Nevada definition of unarmed combat because it does not involve “blows” of any kind. Likewise, it would be a violation of due process to expand the interpretation of ‘fighting’ broader than the statutory definition of unarmed combat…
“Further, Mr. Sonnen is headlining Metamoris 4 on August 9, 2014 which has been promoted and marketed almost 1 month before the July 23, 2014 hearing. Mr. Sonnen’s due process rights certainly mandated that any discussion by the NSAC precluding Mr. Sonnen from participating in this jiu-jitsu competition should have been addressed at the hearing.”
As of yesterday, Goodman has yet to receive any official response from the NSAC. And then there’s this inconvenient little clip filmed after Sonnen’s disciplinary hearing last month, in which Aguilar specifically states that “wrestling” competitions aren’t subject to NSAC jurisdiction:
Which raises the question: Was the NSAC even aware of Sonnen’s Metamoris gig during the July hearing? It seems like that detail might have somehow slipped past the commission, and now the NSAC looks foolish, trying to make an issue of something that should have been formally addressed two weeks ago.
My prediction: The American Gangster walks away from this one scot-free. Legally speaking, I mean. Galvao is still going to crush him this weekend, obviously. You can order the iPPV for $30 right here.