After a lengthy back and forth, Chael Sonnen is officially licensed to fight at UFC Fight Night 26 on August 17. The news comes direct from Sonnen’s manager and the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission.
Sonnen’s representative reportedly met with the commission in a closed-door meeting which eventually ruled in the fighter’s favor. A commission spokesperson later confirmed that after reviewing the evidence and the union complaints, the vote to license Sonnen was unanimous.
“The decision followed the recommendation of their Medical Advisory Board which considered Sonnen’s physical condition and medical information,” said MSAC spokesperson Terrel Harris. “The commission also considered complaints regarding his reputation and character but concluded no information the Commission received should preclude Sonnen’s licensure.”
Sonnen was previously granted a preliminary clearance to fight, but it was taken under further review after complaints were filed by the union Unite Here and the National Organization for Women. The former were concerned with Sonnen’s previous federal charge and conviction for money laundering. The National Organization for Women on the other hand accused Sonnen of using sexist and homophobic language. Both groups wanted the fighter’s license to be denied.
The actual medical concern addressed was Sonnen’s testosterone use. He was granted a therapeutic-use exemption by the Nevada State Athletic Commission following UFC 148. He will still be required to undergo pre and post fight tests to monitor his levels though.
Chael Sonnen is now set to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 next week.