Following the California State Athletic Commissions's decision to suspend Chael Sonnen indefinitely (read: until his license expires on June 29), Michael Bisping took to Twitter to offer his sympathy. To preface, Sonnen revealed during the hearing that the UFC targeted him and Bisping as coaches for the upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter. Bisping's thoughts:
gutted for chael sonnen, people make mistakes.He paid his dues and should be allowed to continue with his career. Real shame for the guy.
I did wanna fight him,as it would of been awesome, and a no1 contender matchup, but my own personal wants aside, I do truly feel for the guy
I'm as close to a full-blown Chael Sonnen apologist as you are likely to find (at least around these parts). That's not to say I'm a fan, but he has never offended me with his outlandish comments either. It's hard for me to fault the man in an industry built around creating a spectacle.
And as someone who holds an ambivalent view of steroids and PEDs, his positive test for elevated levels of testosterone following UFC 117 is not cause for me to sew a scarlet letter on his chest. He cheated (or, if you believe him, handled the paperwork beyond poorly), got caught, and is dealing with the consequences of that.
However, I don't feel bad for Chael Sonnen today. I empathize with his situation; I'm sure he's pushing his stress limits to the test following yesterday's decision.
To say that he has "paid his dues," however, completely ignores the seriousness of his transgressions.
It not only looks like Sonnen perjured himself in his December appearance before the commission, but he provided misleading, if not outright false, information about a conversation with the head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. When confronted with Kizer's denial of any conversation with him, Sonnen claimed he never intended to make it sound like a conversation between the two took place.
The fact that he bargained with the commission, detailing his promised TUF coaching spot and number one contender fight, and having his mother testify as a character witness just goes the magnitude of Sonnen's desperation. He has to understand how deep he has buried himself, and yesterday's strategy fell just short of getting on his knees and begging the commission to show mercy.
I want to see Chael Sonnen fight again, but until he comes clean to the commission, until he accepts responsibility for his actions and his words, I'm not going to feel bad about it.