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Chael Sonnen's Court Sentencing Postponed, Further Delaying UFC Return

Chael Sonnen's MMA comeback will have to wait a little while longer.

Sonnen's sentencing hearing stemming from a federal money laundering guilty plea has been postponed, a U.S. Attorney's Office spokesperson confirmed to MMA Fighting.

The hearing, originally scheduled for Monday, has been pushed to April 8 at 11:30 am Pacific time.

The spokesperson, public information officer Gerri Badden, offered no specific reason for the change, saying sentencing delays were "quite common."

Sonnen's UFC contract is still frozen, and president Dana White has said he will wait until Sonnen is through with court proceedings to determine any next step in his fighting career.

In January, Sonnen pled guilty to money laundering related to mortgage fraud.

While the charge carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, Sonnen's plea deal allowed him to give up his Realtor's license and pay a $10,000 fine. In addition, the government is recommending two years of probation rather than jail time for the UFC middleweight contender.

Meanwhile, Sonnen's California state athletic commission suspension for use of a banned substance expired earlier this month.

For his return fight, he's had no shortage of opponents asking to face him. Among them: Wanderlei Silva, Nate Marquardt and Michael Bisping, who earlier on Monday voiced a hope he'd get the chance to welcome Sonnen back into the UFC.

"I want to fight Chael Sonnen because No. 1, he's an amazing fighter," Bisping said. "When he fought last, he looked fantastic, and I want to challenge myself. He's the No. 2 ranked middleweight in the world. Obviously I can't fight No. 1 because he's got a title shot, so I want to fight the No. 2 guy."

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