PORTLAND, Ore. – Top UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen announced his intention to pull out of the Oregon house race Tuesday. The 33-year-old received the Republican nomination for District 37 in May. On Tuesday, he issued the following statement:
“In the best interests of my district, I am resigning from my campaign for the Oregon House of Representatives. A 2006 legal issue has arisen that needs my immediate attention. I am not at liberty to disclose the details, but my name was involved in a real estate case that requires a ruling. If the ruling is adverse, I would be disqualified from running for office until 2011. So, given that possibility, I have chosen to withdraw my name as a candidate in 2010. I will continue to contribute to my community and ensure that we have a capable candidate to run for my district in November.”
The decision will definitely give Sonnen more time to prepare for his August 7 fight against middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 117.
“That is true, but I wanted to be clear about why I was pulling out of the race,” Sonnen said.
Sonnen has been on a tear in the cage recently with consecutive wins over Dan Miller (UFC 98), Yushin Okami (UFC 104) and Nate Marquardt (UFC 109). He followed long-time coach and training partner Matt Lindland into politics. Both train at Team Quest near Gresham, Ore. Lindland ran for the Oregon House of Representatives in 2008, but was defeated in the general election.
Correction: The story originally stated that Sonnen was running for state senate when he was actually running for a seat in the Oregon house of representatives.