One year ago, federal agents raided an Oakland, Calif., warehouse owned by Rosenthal and an associate that contained 1,356 marijuana plants, according to a copy of the agreement, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) obtained from the U.S. District Attorney's office in Oakland.
The drug's street value was estimated at more than $6 million.
Rosenthal is due in U.S. District Court on May 17. The government is recommending 37 months in jail, fines and five years of probation, during which he would be subject to random searches, according to the agreement. Without a deal, he faced 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and a minimum of five years' probation.
Rosenthal is perhaps best known for two fights: The decision not to stop Shane Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar in the 1st round at UFC 116 when Lesnar was close to a TKO loss, and the bizarre late stoppage of Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel 4 last July. Rosenthal even admitted to having a slow reaction time for that bout. He hadn't refereed a UFC event since October in Minneapolis. He was still a visible figure as early as last week, when our own Eugene Robinson interviewed him at a Jiu-Jitsu tournament in California.
You really don't need me to tell you that this is a huge deal. If you hadn't seen him in a UFC cage recently you definitely won't be seeing him for a while. Bloody Elbow will update this story when Rosenthal is sentenced next month.