Another interference attempt by Unite Here, the union that has
antagonized the UFC’s efforts at regulation, has caused caused trouble for the UFC. This one, however,
ended in failure.
Earlier this week, Unite Here and women’s organization
Mass NOW filed complaints with the Massachusetts State Athletic
Commission, demanding that headliner Chael Sonnen be denied a
A copy of the Unite Here letter, obtained by FOX Sports, cited
the Code of Massachusetts Regulations which allows the commission
to deny an application if the holder has been arrested or convicted
on a charge involving “moral turpitude.”
The letter pointed out that Sonnen was convicted of money
laundering in a case that originated in 2006 when he worked in real
The Mass NOW letter accused Sonnen of engaging in racist, sexist
and other discriminatory behaviors.
“Mr. Sonnen has repeatedly made shockingly derogatory
statements about women, people of color, homosexuals, immigrants,
and other minorities,” it said.
The groups sent over a dozen activists to voice their objection
to Sonnen’s licensure request at a Thursday meeting in
Boston, but after reviewing all of the available information,
Sonnen’s request was granted.
“The State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to
license Chael Sonnen in Massachusetts for the Ultimate Fight
Championship contest scheduled for August 17, 2013 in
Boston,” state athletic commission spokesperson Terrel Harris
said in a statement sent to media outlets including FOX Sports.
“The decision followed the recommendation of their Medical
Advisory Board which considered Sonnen’s physical condition
and medical information. The Commission also considered complaints
regarding his reputation and character but concluded no information
the Commission received should preclude Sonnen’s
Unite Here is an affiliate of Culinary Union 226, a Nevada-based
group that is attempting to unionize Station Casinos. Frank and
Lorenzo Fertitta, who own Station Casinos, are also co-owners of
UFC parent company Zuffa, Inc., and the labor battle has been waged
through the states, with New York as the final battleground still
holding out on sanctioning MMA.
With the headache out of the way, Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen
continues as planned at the TD Garden in Boston.