Licensing issues can destroy a fight card, and worse.
Late last week, due to delays in licensing Alistair Overeem over PED testing, the UFC had to cancel one of the most anticipated fights of the year, a title shot vs. champion Junior Dos Santos. Overeem's replacement, Frank Mir, will doubtless put on a great show, but it doesn't have the same buzz.
Affliction bet millions on a showdown between Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett. When Barnett was not licensed over PED test issues, the fallout brought down the entire promotion.
As Chael Sonnen will shorlty face Middleweight Anderson Silva in what is absolutely the most anticipated fight of the year, a question inescapably rises - will Chael Sonnen have licensing issues, again?
in late 2010 Sonnen appealed a California State Athletic Commission suspension stemming from elevated testosterone levels following his UFC 117 late-moment loss to champion Anderson Silva. During the appeal, Sonnen said he had been given permission to use testosterone by Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer.
This was news to Kizer, and the CSAC, which had reduced Sonnen's suspension to six months, resuspended him following his conviction on Federal money-laundering charges.
When Chael Sonnen sought to coach opposite Michael Bisping on TUF 14, he had to get licensed as a cornerman by the NSAC. A meeting was convened between Kizer, Sonnen, and UFC officials; an unsatisfied Kizer determined that Sonnen would need to appear before the commission in order to be licensed. The offer was declined.
But now, Kizer said the circumstances have changed.
Kizer today told MMAjunkie.com that he sees no issues with granting the fighter a license to fight at UFC 148, though he will ultimately defer to NSAC Chairman Raymond "Skip" Avansino.
"He's done his time," Kizer said. "He's come clean on his prior dishonesty, and that's all appreciated."
"Last time, I would not issue an administrative license, so that forced him if he wanted to to go to a hearing," he said. "He chose not to do that – probably the wise move.
"This time, I don't see a problem giving it to him administratively, but that would be the chairman's call. If he says, 'Keith, you're free to do so,' I will do so. If he says, 'Keith, I want him on a commission meeting,' he'll be on a commission meeting."
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