Sonnen to be granted license

Another interference attempt by Unite Here, the union that has

antagonized the UFC’s efforts at regulation, has caused


target="_blank">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.