Jan 5, 2011

KO's and Oks for the UFC

Chael goes to jail.
 Well, maybe.
Dana White has put Chael Sonnen's career in the UFC on hold after Sonnen had been convicted of money laundering. He illegally transferred $69,000 into his account; how? I don't know. Something to do with plumbing. But it happened. Read more here.

In a press conference yesterday, Dana White made the right call by announcing that Sonnen will be put on 'time-out' until he gets his personal life together. Sonnen's manager also made a statement saying Sonnen plans on complying with authorities (UFC and other) in order to make this event go over as smoothly as possible. 

A good move on Dana White's part since the UFC is still struggling to enter their ideal market and join the ranks of the cable TV network that includes the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL. However, as White tries to legitimize MMA more and more, his efforts are still quite different from other leagues. Simply banning an athlete from a fight may actually be more detrimental to their career than in any other sport.

MMA fighters have a maximum amount of fights that they are allowed in a year. In fact, UFC fighters range between 2-3 a year to 12 times (once a month - if the doctor clears them and rarely does this happen). In considering this, top pay-per-view fighters are looking at $500,000 (GSP made $400k for UFC100) at contract; including bonuses and not including endorsements. For someone of Sonnen's caliber, provided his sponsor(s) drops him, he may be missing out on between $200,000 - $300,000. 
My favourite part about this - he only laundered $60,000. That's not even half of what he could of made at UFC 128.

Here are my predictions for UFC 126:
Well there you have it. I'm out.
And remember...when you're in the eyes of the public: it's better to be safe than sorry.

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