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)
Consider the hammer officially dropped.
Former number one middleweight contender, Chael Sonnen, can finally begin plotting his diabolical return to the Octagon after being sentenced today on a single count of money laundering in U.S. District Court, for which he admitted guilt back in January.
He was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and forfeit his Realtor license in addition to serving a sentence of two years' probation, according to a report from MMA Fighting.
Sonnen, who had his UFC contract "frozen" during his 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."
The Team Quest trash-talker 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.
And he's likely champing at the bit to return to competition.
Sonnen was most recently calling out Michael Bisping after his spitting incident at UFC 127 back on Feb. 27. "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.
Today is that day.
Unfortunately Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer isn't exactly in a rush to license Sonnen, which would be a requirement for him to coach The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14.
And that license would only come after a former hearing that would amount to Sonnen throwing himself on the mercy of the court for the "ridiculous" comments he made about Kizer and the NSAC at his steroid hearing earlier this year.
In short, he's not out of the woods yet. At least not in "Sin City."