Following numerous hurdles, it appears that Chael Sonnen will get licensed to fight in the UFC Fight Night 26 main event slated for Aug. 17 in Boston.
Sonnen is scheduled to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the top fight on the card, which serves as prime time launch programming for the new Fox Sports 1 network.
Sonnen faced a couple of hurdles en route to the bout. For one, the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission lacked experience in dealing with therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy, which Sonnen says he requires for medical reasons. Second, Unite Here union representatives filed a complaint stating that Sonnen should be denied a license due to his January 2011 conviction for money laundering.
The MSAC held a meeting on Thursday, which included a closed-door executive session to discuss the complaint against Sonnen, as well as a separate Unite Here complaint that indicated minors should not be allowed to attend UFC Fight Night 26.
While representatives of the athletic commission had yet to respond to a request for comment, Sonnen's manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc., told MMAWeekly.com that things “looked good” and it was “likely” that Sonnen was going to be granted a license to fight.
As long as no further stipulations come about from the Unite Here complaints, it already appeared as if Sonnen was likely to remain on the card.
“The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission has not issued a license to Chael Sonnen to participate in the August MMA event scheduled in Boston, but has preliminarily agreed to allow him to fight,” Massachusetts Department of Public Safety spokesperson Terrel Harris told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday. “Sonnen, however, would be required to undergo testing to determine his testosterone levels both before and after the contest.
“TUE (therapeutic use exemption) for testosterone is uncharted territory for the Commission which has sent the issue to its Medical Advisory Board to determine allowable ratios prior to the fight and issuing Mr. Sonnen a fight license.”
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for further updates as the story develops.