Our favourite carny Chael Sonnen is making the news again, clearly getting itchy feet and eager to jump back on the UFC gravy train as soon as his March 28th legal hearing for money laundering related to mortgage fraud is dealt with. Having tired of trolling Wanderlei Silva on Twitter in a manner his idol "Rowdy" Roddy Piper would be proud of, Sonnen, ever the opportunist, has spied an even tastier meal ticket in the latest UFC heel flavour of the month Michael Bisping, who had the audacity to take Jorge Rivera's childish YouTube piss takes far too seriously and behave in an unsportsmanlike fashion during and after his fight with Rivera at UFC 127. Yes, the never subtle management suck up Chael Sonnen has lobbied Joe Silva to let them fight in an unsurprisingly leaked email:
To: Joe Silva, Matchmaker Extraordinaire, Ultimate Fighting Championship
Re: Spitsbing & his tainted victory
If you get a chance to talk with him, please mention to your idiot-in-residence Michael Spitsbing it'll be a little tougher to knee ME in the head when I'm charging at him like a runaway train and mincing him through the fence like a boiled potato, should we ever have the pleasure of each other's company for a few (VERY few) moments in the Octagon.
Oh; and I'd suggest to him being a little careful about spitting on any of MY cornermen, since any one of them can beat him up as badly as I can. Thanks ever so much.
Hope all is well.
So why not go ahead and give Chael Sonnen his wish, after all, it will be an easy fight to sell and we all know money talks while BS walks?
Well, first of all, Dana White, bowing to fan and media pressure, has boxed himself into a corner by saying that he'll punish Bisping for his behaviour at UFC 127. As I'm sure Kid Nate would agree, booking Bisping in such a money fight at the first available opportunity would open White up to the charge of hypocrisy by so clearly rewarding a fighter for his bad behaviour. Unfortunately, the most fitting punishment, forcing Bisping to repeatedly watch professional wrestling angles involving real life spouses getting abused by heels for heat until he realises there's nothing wrong with his opponent dissing his wife in promos, it's just good business, is unlikely to happen.
However, more importantly, Chael Sonnen is still not licensed to fight in Nevada and won't be until he explains to the Nevada State Athletic Commission why he lied about his dealings with Keith Kizer at his California State Athletic Commission hearing last December and once again in an interview to ESPN's MMA Live in early January. Personally I think that before Sonnen gets booked by UFC again, then he first needs to get his licensing issues sorted in Nevada and UFC shouldn't purposely avoid booking Sonnen in that state. I mean if I was Chael Sonnen and I wanted to continue taking testosterone replacement treatment for "hypogonadism" after lying about his dealings with Keith Kizer on multiple occasions, then I'd want to avoid Nevada like the plague too, but UFC shouldn't aid and abet him in this shady ploy by ensuring that Sonnen doesn't have to fight in Las Vegas for the foreseeable future.
Neither should the MMA media. Dave Meltzer, who bashed the MMA media for dropping the ball on the Sonnen drug hearing story, strangely seemed to have no real qualms about UFC avoiding opening Sonnen's NSAC pandora's box in his free today Wrestling Observer radio show, though to be perfectly fair maybe he was only explaining Sonnen's current mentality, but it didn't come across that way to me on first listening. Thankfully, Bryan Alvarez was the good angel in his ear talking him down from that cliff edge. The discussion on Bisping/Sonnen starts at the 28:25 mark, quoted is the most relevant part:
Meltzer: For Chael Sonnen it's the perfect thing because he's going to have to get a win and this is a top guy who Sonnen has a pretty good shot of beating and then he can go right to his championship match against the Anderson Silva St. Pierre winner. ... If he can get that, it works out and I think Sonnen against Bisping that's gonna be a real big match by the time they get to it. Uh, no doubt it will be.
Alvarez: Maybe Sonnen could get licensed first?
Meltzer: Um, well that's another issue. Well, they don't have to do it in Nevada. It's not like he's banned.
Alvarez: I know but I just don't like the idea of, you know after the Strikeforce deal with Barnett, I mean just the idea off...
Meltzer: Those are different deals though. One was a guy who had his license suspended or was denied a license I should say, all Sonnen has to do is not apply for a license, he hasn't been denied anywhere and when you're denied a license you can't apply anywhere for a year unless a state you know, um, he can apply anywhere, whereas with Sonnen the only problem would be if the match was booked in Nevada in which case, whether they would or wouldn't license him, they would have to make him jump through hoops and there's a chance they wouldn't license him, but in any other state Sonnen could just go in there and it wouldn't even be an issue.
Alvarez: Well, there's always future fights and there's a lot of them in Vegas.
Meltzer: Yeah, but after May 28th there ain't gonna be another big show in Vegas probably until er maybe the first of the year, actually the July show, they'll do July 4th weekend show, but I don't think, if Bisping is suspended and I don't know how quick Sonnen will be back in the thing, you know all they have to do is do it in August somewhere.
Alvarez: I just don't like the idea of a major league organisation using a guy in other states because they know he wouldn't get licensed in a certain state because he lied under oath about talking to a certain guy.
Meltzer: Yeah, you've got a point. But OK, you're right, but the thing is he has not been denied a license anywhere, it is just a theoretical that he could be in Nevada, it's not a case of that he would be. Nevada may very well license him and just censure him or something. They may well license him, it's absolutely possible and if he doesn't it's obviously his own fault.
Ironically, even well known professional wrestling hater Luke Thomas is also championing the booking of this fight to redeem Chael Sonnen, despite Sonnen having brought the very best and worst of professional wrestling to UFC over the last year.