California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer George Dodd issued the following press release today:
Chael Sonnen May Apply for License after June 29, 2011
Errors Made in Interpreting Rule 399
"Upon reviewing the May 18, 2011 decision of the Commission, an error in the applicability of Rule 399 was made. The rule states that, "Any applicant who has been denied an application for a license may not file a similar application until one year from the date of the last previous denial by the commission. Any application filed within the one year period may be denied without the necessity of a hearing. Anyone who has had his license revoked may not petition for reinstatement or apply for a new license until one year after the date of such revocation. Any petition for reinstatement filed within the one year period may be denied without the necessity of a hearing." Since the Commission did not revoke or deny Mr. Sonnen's license, the rule does not apply.
Given that Mr. Sonnen's license will expire on June 29, 2011, the suspension imposed upon the license will be extinguished by operation of law. Therefore, Mr. Sonnen may reapply for a license at any time following that date. He will, however, be required to appear at a Commission meeting to have his application considered. If the Commission denies his application, Mr. Sonnen will have to wait one year from the date of the denial."
Pretty self-explanatory. The question is what his next move is. I doubt that the commissioners intended to suspend Sonnen for just a couple months, if just because it seems so pointless. Does this mean that they didn't understand the rules and intended to effectively dole out an equal punishment to a license revocation? It looks like that may be the case. This is just strange. Meanwhile, regardless of what happens in California, he still has no license in Nevada and if his hearing finally happens there so he can try to get a new one and he's denied, that could also hurt his prospects.
Meanwhile, remember how a woman name Marika Taylor spoke "passionately" on Sonnen's behalf during the public comment portion of the hearing, during which the only other commenters were Sonnen's lawyer and mother? Well, for now, it looks like she's not his girlfriend as I had speculated. All we know now is that she's just a rabid fan and aspiring MMA documentarian who lives in Los Angeles, the site of the hearing. With Sonnen's suspension being upheld, she went off on a bunch of rants everywhere, not unlike that one guy (literally, there's one guy who posted on a bunch of the SBN MMA blogs who has a ton of hits on other MMA sites when I Googled his name with Sonnen) who is defending Sonnen with the same talking points in the comment section of every MMA site.
Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion has the definitive article about her at the moment, which I suggest you all read. The short version:
- As I said, she spoke "passionately" on Sonnen's behalf at Wednesday's hearing.
- Called Mauro Ranallo's radio show to rant about the situation, where she proclaimed that the hearing was "the most incredible, um, uh, misuse of power and miscarriage of justice that I have ever witnessed" and accused ESPN's Josh Gross of instigating the situation by contacting Keith Kizer during Sonnen's December hearing. He would have found out anyway, regardless of whether or not Gross and I talked to him about it. Hell, after Dave Meltzer reported Sonnen's defense I broke the story that Kizer blew holes in it before the hearing, it just wasn't widely covered until after, and then most prominently by Gross. I guess I should be glad that there was an ESPN reporter who's also one of the most well known MMA reporters on top of this to be the most prominent person properly covering the story. I don't think I'd enjoy being the target of Sonnen fan wrath.
- She ranted a lot more on Twitter. Most notably, she said that she has "never seen such blatant disregard for human rights" before in her life. Really. I guess Chael was secretly a victim of ethnic cleansing who was then recruited as a child soldier or something.
Wait...Chael Sonnen would never be on the good guys' side of an ethnic cleansing. Ok, scratch that, that's too far, the dude just seems like he's not a big fan of people who aren't white Americans.
- Talked to Josh Gross for over an hour (not mentioned in Arnold's story due to timing) and apologized for calling him out on Ranallo's show. Again, I'm glad I wasn't the target of her wrath, because she seems like someone I would hate talking to for...well, much less than "over an hour."
So...that's it? I dunno. I feel like we're missing a piece of the puzzle.