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Massachusetts Athletic Commission releases statement on Chael Sonnen receiving fight license

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UFC leaps another minor hurdle.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Culinary Union is at it again.

Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) arch rival has successfully been keeping mixed martial arts (MMA) out of New York for years, but it failed on its bid yesterday (Aug. 8, 2013) to keep upcoming UFC Fight Night 26 headlining fighter Chael Sonnen from competing against Mauricio Rua next weekend (Aug. 17) at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Despite a strongly worded letter from Unite Here, which represents Vegas culinary workers, asking that Sonnen be denied his fight license, Sonnen was still approved by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission, even granting his therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety, released the following statement regarding the Sonnen situation:

"While the conviction for money laundering may be considered a crime of moral turpitude, the commission is well within its right to consider the totality of the circumstances and allow the license to issue which is what it did."

Writing letters isn't the only thing the Las Vegas Culinary Union tried to do to get Sonnen pulled from the main event. According to The Boston Herald, they even crashed the Massachusetts commission's meeting.

"Boston-based members of Unite Here and the National Organization for Women - who protested what they called Sonnen's "shockingly derogatory statements about women, people of color, homosexuals, immigrants and other minorities" - crashed yesterday's commission meeting to testify, but were muffled after testy exchanges with commissioners. Two state troopers were summoned to stand in the hallway after union members hesitated to leave after the commission voted to go into private session."

Must be nice to know those union dues are being put to such good use.