Chael Sonnen real estate scandal/money laundering sentencing hearing postponed until April 8

OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 07: Chael Sonnen walks to his corner in between rounds of his fights against Anderson Silva during the UFC Middleweight Championship bout at Oracle Arena on August 7 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Former number one middleweight contender, Chael Sonnen, will have to wait a little while longer before he can start plotting his diabolical return to the Octagon.

Sonnen, a licensed Realtor, was scheduled to be sentenced today on a single count of money laundering in U.S. District Court, for which he admitted guilt back in January. The hearing, however, was postponed until April 8, 2011, at 11:30 a.m. PT, according to MMAFighting.com.

No specific reason was given for the delay, but it was referred to as "quite common."

Sonnen, who had his UFC contract "frozen" while he attempts to resolve his legal woes, admitted earlier this year that he "conducted a financial transaction designed to hide or disguise the ownership and control of proceeds of mortgage fraud."

He was facing a steep fine as much as $500,000 and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

However, Sonnen reportedly struck a plea deal, agreeing to pay a $10,000 fine and forfeiting his Realtor license. He'd also be hit with a recommended sentence of two years' probation.

His sentencing today appeared to be a mere a formality, but it will now be pushed back until next Friday.

Sonnen, who is due to stop serving a six-month suspension from the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for having elevated levels of testosterone in his system after losing to middleweight champion Anderson Silva via stunning submission in August 2010, is likely champing at the bit to return to competition.

He was most recently calling out Michael Bisping after his spitting incident at UFC 127 last month. "The Count" accepted his challenge, but the promotion has been slow to announce anything regarding Sonnen's fight future until it knows for certain he's cleared to fight another day ... inside a cage.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

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