Despite his letter to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva requesting a fight against "Michael Spitsbing," former middleweight number one contender Chael Sonnen still has a couple of steps to take before he's cleared to return to action.
The trash-talking ex-Realtor has fulfilled the terms of his six-month steroids suspension effective today (March 3, 2011) according to the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).
But he must return to the CSAC and re-apply for his license if he expects to compete again in "The Golden State."
From commission executive officer George Dodd, courtesy of MMA Fighting:
"If Mr. Sonnen wants to be licensed here in California, he will have to appear before the commission to regain his license. Every other state will have to make a determination on their process for licensing [him]."
Sonnen was originally slapped with a one-year suspension plus a $2,500 fine after his pre-fight drug test from UFC 117, obtained from a urine sample that was processed through the UCLA Olympic drug-testing lab, returned a positive result for steroids on both his first and second samples.
The CSAC later reduced that term to six months by a vote of 3-1 but upheld the original monetary fine.
The crux of Sonnen's defense was his Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), which is not uncommon for athletes his age and with his competitive background; however, the mouthy money launderer failed to follow the proper protocol for clearing his TRT therapy prior to the event.
And even without competing, he still found a way to get beat up.
Sonnen recently plead guilty to a single count of money laundering in U.S. District Court and will face a recommended sentence of two years' probation on March 28. Sonnen has also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and give up his Realtor's license.
That is all ... for now.
Are you ready to welcome him back to the UFC line-up with open arms? And what about that "Spitsbing" match-up?