Chael Sonnen (24-11-1) certainly managed to dodge the bullet in regards to his issues with the law or at least reduce the damage to a flesh wound. Yesterday, Sonnen plead guilty to charges of Federal Money Laundering in connection with Mortgage Fraud, an offense that has seen many other realtors imprisoned and all but crucified by the Department of Justice following the collapse of the housing market . Sonnen faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a hefty $500,000 fine but managed to plea down to just two years probation, the revocation of his real estate license, and a fine of $10,000, provided the District Attorney doesn’t decided to pursue additional charges or change the arrangements in light of new findings.
This past month rounding out the 2010 MMA calendar and transitioning into the New Year has been thrilling. UFC 124: St. Pierre vs. Koscheck II was for all intents and purposes an exciting affair. “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (21-2) put on another picture perfect fight against perennial contender “Kos” Josh Koscheck (15-5) and “Pitbull” Thiago Alves (18-7) showed he could stay relevant at welterweight by testing the iron chin of “Doomsday” John Howard (14-6), Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2 was quite literally a knockout, WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis was an explosive send-off for the exciting organization, and the main event at UFC 125: Resolution featured lightweight champ “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) and his challenger, NCAA Div. I wrestler “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1), partaking in a five round war dominated by stand-up that rather surprisingly resulted in a Draw. However a disturbing realization has come to light. It is likely that given the growth of MMA, especially the UFC, this beloved sport one day will begin to emulate the stale monotony of professional boxing. As the UFC and MMA continue to grow into the meganaut of combat sports, mainstream growth’s effect on the sport, its entertainment value, and its fighters will only become progressively more apparent.
If 2010 was a bad year for former UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen (24-11-1), then 2011 is bound to be pure hell. Sonnen started last year on a very high note. He completely dominated “The Great” Nate Marquardt (30-10-2) in February, the went on to win the Republican Primary in his home state of Oregon to run for a seat in the state House, and in August he made middleweight champ “The Spider” Anderson Silva (27-4) not only look human to the fans who thought him a god, but made him look like he didn’t even belong in the same cage for 24 minutes and 30 seconds of their 25 minute title fight. But that all fell apart for Chael. In fact it started to unravel in June, when Chael dropped out of the race for State Representative due to a “legal matter that surfaced from 2006” about which Chael declined to expound upon at the time. Then he lost his title fight against Anderson Silva despite his aforementioned dominance in the match-up. Then he failed a post-fight urinalysis due to elevated levels of testosterone in his blood, resulting in a one year suspension. Now, Chael Sonnen faces serious time in prison when his sentencing is delivered on March 28, 2011.