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Dana White Says UFC Will Honor Chael Sonnen's Suspension No Matter What

LAS VEGAS – Dana White may not like it, and he's been adamant in his belief Chael Sonnen has been punished enough.

But the UFC boss said Saturday after UFC 130 that as long as the former middleweight title challenger remains under suspension by the California State Athletic Commission, he won't step foot inside the Octagon.

MMA Fighting asked White following the post-fight press conference if he would allow Sonnen to fight in a state that would grant him a license, despite the CSAC suspension, or overseas, where the UFC does its own self-regulation. And White said that won't happen, even though he knows there are states that would grant Sonnen a license and allow him to fight.

"We don't do that," White said of the possibility. "He's going to have to pay his dues and straighten his stuff out with (the CSAC), even though I think what's happened to him is wrong."

Sonnen's difficulties started after he dominated middleweight champion Anderson Silva deep into the fight before tapping to an armbar-triangle at UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif., last August. After the fight, he failed his drug test, then ran into further trouble with the CSAC when his testimony was called into question for its accuracy. And further complicating things for Sonnen, he plead guilty to a money laundering charge stemming from a real estate deal.

That all added up to the CSAC extending his suspension from six months to indefinite. He won't be eligible to apply for a license in California until the end of June. And White thinks the CSAC has given his former top contender a raw deal.

"I think Chael has paid his dues," White said. "Can you keep a guy from making a living for having a big mouth? He's a big mouth. He says dumb (crap). He says stuff that doesn't make sense sometimes. He lives on his own little planet. I can tell you this: You go throughout the history of boxing and look at some of the guys that have been licensed in boxing and what they've done."

White was reminded that Strikeforce heavyweight Josh Barnett doesn't have a license in California and has long had difficulties in that state following a failed drug test in August 2009. Yet Barnett will fight in Strikeforce's heavyweight tournament in Texas in less than three weeks, a state that granted him a license despite his current ban in California. And since Zuffa owns Strikeforce now, along with the UFC, couldn't the same thing, theoretically, be done for Sonnen? Sure, White said. But it won't happen.

"We will honor it. We won't let him fight anywhere," White said. "We'll honor that suspension until it's cleared up. (The CSAC would) regulate me – they're my boss too. You show me a guy who fought the government and won. Show me that guy. I want to meet him. I don't want to be the guy to try. I do what I'm told."

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