Chael Sonnen’s tumultuous relationship with the Nevada State Athletic Commission just took another turn for the worse that could affect his upcoming grappling match at Metamoris 4 scheduled for this weekend in California.
The former UFC title contender was recently suspended for a term of two years following two separate drug tests conducted in the state that resulted in a cocktail of banned substances being found in his body. Among them, Sonnen tested positive for EPO and human growth hormone along with estrogen blocking drugs — all of which are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency for any athlete being tested.
Sonnen agreed to the two year ban from fighting along with some other stipulations, but he walked away without a fine for his penalty. Sonnen officially retired from mixed martial arts prior to the ban being handed down in July.
Now it appears the commission is gearing up for another battle with Sonnen over his grappling competition appearance scheduled for this Saturday against Andre Galvao in California. Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter first reported on Monday that the Nevada Commission was threatening to fine Sonnen $250,000 per failed drug test if he competes in the grappling match at Metamoris this weekend.
Separate sources confirmed the information to FOX Sports on the condition of anonymity, but representatives from the commission were unavailable to comment on the situation at the time of this publication.
Metamoris — a grappling competition — isn’t overseen by any state athletic commission including California where the event is being held. California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster spoke to FOX Sports on Monday and while he had no knowledge about the potential fines being levied against Sonnen if he does compete, he made it clear that he has no say in the matter even if he wanted to interject.
"Zero jurisdiction," Foster said. "It’s because it’s not full contact. He can grapple if he wants to."
Foster says the only time he could intervene would be if Sonnen was fighting in the state or competing in some kind of combat sports, which the commission oversees. Otherwise, they have no call in Sonnen’s activities in other sports.
It appears the battle is brewing, however, as Sonnen is reportedly still willing to move forward with his grappling match. The match is a straight jiu-jitsu competition with no strikes of any kind being thrown but the Nevada Commission seems convinced that this is considered a fight and if Sonnen competes they are willing to throw the book at him.
Metamoris representatives have yet to comment on the situation, but as it stands Sonnen vs. Galvao is still expected to be the night’s main event on Saturday.