It was reported earlier today Chael Sonnen would take on Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128. However, it appears Octagon president Dana White has decided to temporarily suspend the controversial middleweight in the wake of his recent legal woes.
“Chael Sonnen has gone through a lot in the last few months and we think it’s important for him to focus on getting his personal life together before focusing on his career in the UFC,” White told TMZ.com. “I spoke with Chael earlier today and he agrees that setting priorities in his life is the best thing for him right now.
“I sincerely hope Chael is able to straighten out his personal life.”
Although White didn’t go into specifics regarding Sonnen’s “frozen” contract, it’s clear the political hopeful has much bigger fish to fry. Monday, the 33-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon.
He’s facing a maximum of 20 years in the pen and a $500,000 fine, but it’s been reported he accepted a plea deal. If his March 28th sentencing goes according to plan, Sonnen will be forced to fork over only $10k and will be placed on two years probation.
UFC 128 takes place March 19th inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.