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What jurisdiction does Nevada have over Chael Sonnen in a submission grappling tournament?

By Zach Arnold | August 4, 2014

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Nevada thinks they can fine Chael Sonnen $250,000 for competing at Metamoris.

Question: Why are they threatening this now when his booking for Metamoris was known when the meeting commenced to give him a two year ban?

Submission grappling is not regulated by athletic commissions. Dave Meltzer recently suggested that it should. But it currently is not. Any attempt by an athletic commission to stop a fighter from an activity that is not regulated by an athletic commission is begging for a lawsuit.

This is the classic case of an athletic commission with major image problems on the drug front now trying to bluff and over-step their bounds against a licensee. Even if Metamoris was an activity regulated by the California State Athletic Commission, it’s not MMA or boxing. The California State Athletic Commission collects money from WWE events but doesn’t actually regulate pro-wrestling. By Nevada’s standards, does this mean that if Sonnen went into WWE that he is somehow violating his two year ban in Nevada? What’s the difference between submission grappling and professional wrestling?

Basically what we have here is a threat from Nevada that whatever they do to Sonnen will be accepted by other state athletic commissions because somehow Nevada is the gold standard.

Timing is everything in life. Two days after the Brandon Rios/Diego Chaves debacle at the Cosmopolitan, we had a brawl with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. And Kirk Hendrick gave a stern statement.

Exit remark: If Sonnen has to go to court in Nevada over any fines by the Athletic Commission, guess who’s going tor represent NSAC? The Attorney General’s office, which is next door to the Athletic Commission. Guess who is one of the lawyers? Keith Kizer.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 10 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

10 Responses to “What jurisdiction does Nevada have over Chael Sonnen in a submission grappling tournament?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Jon Jones was at fault for that altercation. He made contact first….

  2. May happen soon. Why do you think the UFC regitered TM Submission.

  3. Chris says:

    This little fracas will make make UFC 178 their biggest PPV of the year. So it’s Hard to imagine the UFC or the Commission being to upset about what happened. Any fines will really be just be for appearances.

  4. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    fine should be 10-20% of @ fighters purse. Or a flat $50,000 fine for both and a week in jail for jones.

    • Jeff Montelongo says:

      I always thought fines should be proportional or relative across the board to the money a specific fighter makes.

  5. Jeff Montelongo says:

    It’s only a matter of time before the NSAC and CSAC start regulating all submission grappling/BJJ tournaments and events as another cash grab. In fact I’m very surprised they haven’t done it already.

    • Diaz's cashed bowl says:

      Well, the Sonnen situation is drawing attention to its lack of AC oversight. Grappling makes like no money and I imagine AC wants no part of nothing.

      Imo, Sonnen grappling in metamoris isn’t right or acceptable.
      Why? Say Sonnen was a triathlete busted for PEDs in a triathlon, and got a suspension from an AC. Wouldn’t that cover a bike race, marathon and any swim competition? Even if its a no money contest, the guys a current cheater with drugs in his system, why give him any avenue to continue cheating?
      Not that he is able, but could Sonnen kickbox in glory while hes suspended from MMA?

      • Jeff Montelongo says:

        I think it’s ridiculous the NSAC are making any of this an issue. Now let’s throw out all the legal aspects and terminology and throw out what’s legal and what isn’t legal, let’s talk about what’s right or wrong. If Sonnen wasn’t specifically/explicitly told he wasn’t allowed to compete in grappling competition (which the NSAC has zero jurisdiction), then he shouldn’t be punished for doing so in a state that has no jurisdiction on grappling events either. I think the NSAC are on their way in setting a potentially bad precedent that could end up biting them back in the ass if they aren’t careful what they’re doing.

        Now on your Glory example. Kickboxing is regulated by the NSAC, so yes, Sonnen should be forbidden to compete b/c it’s a sport they regulated and a sport they have jurisdiction on. They don’t regulate grappling, so there. And “avenue to continue cheating”??? Since he cheated in MMA should he be banned from getting married as well b/c he might sleep with another woman breaching the stipulation in his pre-nup? Should he be banned from playing in a chess tournament? Should he be banned from playing in a pick-up game of basketball at his local YMCA b/c even though he’s not being paid it still gives him an “avenue to continue cheating”??? This notion is so trivial, arbitrary and ridiculous.

        • Jeff Montelongo says:

          Should he be banned from coaching a team at Grappler’s Quest? Or better yet, should be banned from TEACHING at a martial arts gym b/c as a cheater he could negatively influence his students to teach as well? Should he be banned from attending ANY sporting event as a spectator b/c he pull something shady? Maybe he should be banned from watching UFC shows on Fight Pass b/c he could potentially using someone else’s username or credit card to access it? Maybe he should be banned from entering a casino b/c he might cheat and pull a scam at one of the card tables?

  6. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    You missed my point.
    He should be punished at least by being banned from ANY athletic non exhibition competition where money is involved.
    The gracies should NOT have solicited soiled Sonnens services, but hey… some Gracies do steroids as well, and Sonnen sells tickets.

    Why do you think they separate body building classes? one for natural and the other for the steroid users… there is a huge difference! a natural athelete can’t compete against those cheaters. Sonnen is a pathetic joke of a man, infertility issues aside, he’s a multiple cheater liar and convicted criminal and he gets NO fine from the NSAC and hes free to compete untested in a drug enhanced condition and profit from it?

    Bocek quit because he was “tired of fighting against fighters on peds” gsp implies the same.
    it has nothing to do with jurisdiction etc… it has to do with a known cheater continuing to cheat and profit from it.

    Its like an inside job bank robber who gets no sentence, is only suspended temporarily from his job and gets a job at a check cashing credit loan company in the interim.


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