Did you really expect me to use a different Sonnen photo?
Mike Chiapetta at MMAFighting.com has reported that Chael Sonnen has received his sentence from Portland Oregon district court judge Judge Michael W. Mosman for the money laundering charges that he pleaded guilty to on January 3rd. He was subsequently suspended by UFC until everything was cleared up. Sonnen has been sentenced to:
- 2 years of probation.
- A $10,000 fine.
- Forfeiture of his real estate license.
Sonnen admitted that he was involved in a "financial transaction that was conducted or designed to disguise the ownership of funds due to wire fraud." If he had gone to trial and been convicted, he could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Two of his co-defendants had already been sentenced. Mortgage broker Marty Folwick was sentenced to 63 months in prison while loan officer Kamau Herndon was sentenced to two years in prison. Three more co-defendants are either currently at trial or awaiting sentencing.
As for Sonnen, I would expect UFC to unsuspend him (or unfreeze his contract, or whatever they're calling it) soon, but as we've talked about lately, he still has some hurdles to overcome. UFC and Spike TV want him to coach the next season of The Ultimate Fight opposite Michael Bisping, but that would require him to to get re-licensed in Nevada as a corner man. Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer has repeatedly told us and other MMA news outlets that he won't administratively re-license Sonnen, instead requiring Sonnen to appear before the commission. This is because he feels that Sonnen used him in a lie to get his California suspension for testing positive for steroids (after fighting Anderson Silva at UFC 117) cut in half. A meeting to try to resolve the matter without a formal hearing (since the commission voting down his re-licensing could affect his status in other states) did not go well at all, to say the least, with Kizer blaming Sonnen.