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Will Keith Kizer let UFC's Chael Sonnen coach the next season of TUF?

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As initially reported on SBNation by Bloody Elbow's Nick Thomas via Dave Meltzer's subscriber only April 6th Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Spike TV and UFC want Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping to coach the next season of their reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter.  Unfortunately Thomas dropped the ball with his brief story, putting over their "guaranteed strong personalities" and how "it should definitely be entertaining for fans if it comes to fruition", while ignoring how this is the ultimate reward for their recent bad behaviour.  Moreover, he failed to pass on, yet alone analyse, the information Meltzer broke about Zuffa's behind the scenes manoeuvrings to persuade (or should that be pressure) Nevada's Keith Kizer to license Sonnen so he can coach on TUF as they so desperately crave.  A desperation that is surely increasing with each passing day for Dana White, as the new bland babyface Brock Lesnar, even before the hugely disappointing 1.0 rating came in for TUF's season 13 debut, looked like he may be an expensive bust as a coach for Spike TV.

So what other information did Meltzer break in his newsletter that has been largely slept on by the MMA media, outside of Jamie Penick of MMATorch and JT King of MMAFrenzy:

  • The expectation is that Sonnen, in return for his guilty plea, will be given a light punishment of two years probation, a $10,000 fine and revocation of his real estate license in his sentence hearing on Friday for mortgage fraud.
  • Chael Sonnen has put everyone in a difficult position.  The Nevada State Athletic Commission believe that Sonnen committed perjury about his dealings with their head Keith Kizer to attempt to get his California suspension quashed, but they don't want to cross the UFC by officially denying him a license.  So either Nevada will begrudgingly relicense Sonnen or Zuffa will realise that the vote won't go their way, will be forced to find new coaches for TUF and have to book the fight in another state or country.
  • Reading between the lines, Zuffa's flaky argument that they are not in fact rewarding Sonnen and Bisping for their recent bad behaviour seems to be that they were considering making them coaches for the current season of TUF, so they're just going through with an idea they've had for a long time.  Lots of holes with that argument.
  • UFC brought out the big dogs to try to get Sonnen licensed in a private meeting held several weeks ago with Keith Kizer.  Present were Sonnen himself, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and other high ranking UFC officials.
  • Sonnen's latest story is that he misspoke at his CSAC hearing and what he meant was that his manager Matt Lindland had dealt with Keith Kizer about his medical use of testosterone in February 2008, prior to Sonnen's fight in Nevada the next month.  Lindland via telephone corroborated Sonnen's story.
  • However, Kizer, when recalling his phone conversation with Lindland three years ago, claimed that he did indeed speak with Lindland about the procedure for getting a TUE, but that Lindland didn't mention Sonnen's name at the time and never followed up again afterwards.  Hmm, a cynic would suggest that they were scared off by all the hoops they would have to jump through to get an exemption.
  • Lindland disagreed with Kizer saying he followed up by email, though he wasn't able to produce that email for the commission nor could they themselves find it when checking their archives of deleted emails for the time period in question. 

So another likely story from MMA's premier carny!  After the jump find links to our previous coverage of Chael Sonnen's various problems.

Chael Sonnen Reportedly Tests Positive for PED's at UFC 117

Sonnen Update: Steroid NOT Thought to be Natural

Official Statement Released by the California State Athletic Commission Regarding Chael Sonnen

NSAC rebuts Sonnen's expected claims of approved testosterone use

Kizer: Sonnen's claims at CSAC hearing could cost him

Chael Sonnen Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering, Faces up to 20 Years, $500,000 Fine

Yet Another Update in the Sonnen Saga: The UFC Suspends Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen lied about Keith Kizer yet again

UFC's Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping - Let Them Fight?