Chael Sonnen may end up being a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter 14,” but as of now, it’s not looking likely.
UFC president Dana White today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) no decisions have been made about the head-coaching slots for the show, which debuts in September on Spike TV.
But White also said Sonnen “has a ton of problems” to deal with, which makes a rumored “TUF 14” coaching slot against Michael Bisping unlikely.
The “Wrestling Observer” recently reported that UFC officials have explored the possibility of the polarizing Sonnen and Bisping as coaches for the upcoming season, which is the first to feature bantamweight and featherweight fighters. Production begins this summer.
However, due to his failed drug test at UFC 117 (due to elevated testosterone levels), Sonnen recently concluded a six-month suspension he received from the California State Athletic Commission. However, he still has a sentencing date after pleading guilty to a federal money-laundering charge as part of a 2006 real-estate deal. (At Friday’s upcoming sentencing hearing, he’s expected to receive two years of probation, a $10,000 fine and the revocation of his real-estate license.)
Sonnen also would need to deal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and get re-licensed before he could coach on “TUF.” During his CSAC hearing back in December, Sonnen claimed that NSAC executive director Keith Kizer was aware of and approved the fighter’s past testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) during his fights in the state. Sonnen said the same therapy caused his failed CSAC test.
Kizer has denied those claims and said he’s never spoken to Sonnen about TRT. (Kizer wasn’t available for comment when contacted today by MMAjunkie.com.)
UFC officials ultimately “froze” Sonnen’s contract in the wake of the real-estate charges, and the fighter has turned down most interview requests since news broke.
White admits the NSAC issue could be a problem for any coaching plans. He confirmed he recently met with Kizer to discuss Sonnen’s situation but didn’t divulge details of the outcome.
As of now, though, White said no decisions have been made about the coaching slots.
“We have no clue who will coach; Chael has a ton of problems (right now),” White said.