Yesterday the UFC announced that it would be moving the UFC Middleweight title fight between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen from UFC 147 in Brazil to UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The logistical difficulties involved in putting on a stadium show in Brazil have thus far proved too daunting for the organization.
With the news some speculated that Sonnen would have difficulties securing a license to fight in Nevada given his unfortunate history of lying about Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) executive director Keith Kizer in sworn testimony to the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).
Kizer was quick to dampen such speculation.
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Talking to Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report, Kizer said, "If he files, any and all relevant issues will be addressed. There is always more scrutiny, but that does necessarily mean a hearing is needed. That is something to be decided but I think he may be eligible for administrative licensing, i.e., no need for hearing. The final decision on that point would be the Chairman's."
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Kizer was even more sanguine, "He's done his time. He's come clean on his prior dishonesty, and that's all appreciated."
Sonnen failed a post-fight drug test after nearly beating Anderson Silva at UFC 117 in California. At his hearing to appeal his one-year suspension Sonnen claimed he required testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and should be granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) in California. He claimed that he had secured a TUE in Nevada and had personally spoken with Kizer on the matter. The CSAC duly reduced the length of his suspension.
Kizer hotly and publicly denied having ever spoken to Sonnen. That and Sonnen's subsequent guilty plea to multiple federal felony counts deriving from a real estate kick back scheme forced the CSAC to hold a second hearing at which they extended his suspension back to the original year and at one point appeared to be on the verge of blocking Sonnen's re-licensing in any jurisdiction. A paperwork technicality limited his suspension to the original year in California and he has since fought again in Texas, a notoriously lax jurisdiction.
Kizer did prevent Sonnen from coaching The Ultimate Fighter against Michael Bisping by refusing him a second's license. That slot went to Jason "Mayhem" Miller instead. Sonnen and the UFC tried to appeal Kizer's decision in a private meeting, but failed.
Now it appears Kizer wants to look forward, not back and is going to do his best to avoid another farcical commission hearing with Sonnen.