Chael Sonnen did things to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva that fans had never seen before. And since that August night in Oakland, marked by knockdowns and battering and ultimately a submission loss, Sonnen has fallen harder than Dirk Diggler at the end of "Boogie Nights."
On Wednesday, the California State Athletic Commission voted 4-1 to uphold Sonnen's indefinite suspension. Sonnen has his fight license suspended last September for one year after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone after UFC 117 on Aug. 7. In December, it was reduced to six months. The suspension was later expanded to indefinite status on April 19, because the CSAC had reason to suspect Sonnen perjured himself, according to ESPN.com's Josh Gross.
The big dispute in Sonnen's veracity stems from the testimony of Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Sonnen said he had a conversation with Kizer where he explained hypogonadism was the reason Sonnen needed testosterone replacement therapy. Kizer denied the conversation took place and said he never granted Sonnen a medical use exception.
“If I don’t get my license today, I’m effectively retired," Sonnen told the commission Wednesday.
Here's what all of this means: Sonnen's "indefinite" suspension in California expires June 29 when his state license expires. Per CSAC rules, he cannot re-apply to the state until one year later. Sonnen is free to apply for a license in any other state, and there is no rule stipulating that a state must honor another state's ruling. More often than not, most states do respect another state's suspension, though.
One of the more notable exceptions is Texas, which last August granted boxer Antonio Margarito a license. He had been suspended from the CSAC folllowing a hand-wrapping scandal after his loss to Shane Mosley in January 2009.
Is it possible we could see Sonnen fight in 2011? Yes.
Is it possible we may never see Sonnen fight again? Yes. But highly unlikely.
This will prevent Sonnen from coaching against Michael Bisping on Season 14 of "The Ultimate Fighter," which starts filming soon.
And of course, there's the little matter of Sonnen's guilty plea in a real-estate money laundering scam, a $10,000 fine and two years probation.
What the heck happened to that guy who talked such brilliant trash and came within two minutes of backing it all up against Silva? This is a mammoth collapse for a 34-year-old fighter. To take this out of the realm of niche sports and give it a context more people can relate to, think Britney Spears' collapse a few years ago. Or Charlie Sheen's spectacular "winning" fall from grace a few months ago.