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Report: UFC suspends Chael Sonnen

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TMZ.com is reporting that former UFC middleweight No. 1 contender Chael Sonnen has been suspended by the promotion for his involvement in a mortgage fraud scandal.

Just yesterday, Sonnen pled guilty to money laundering in connection with mortgage fraud -- and now UFC president Dana White tells us Sonnen's contract has been temporarily "frozen."

But White isn't turning his back on one of his most famous fighters -- Dana tells us, "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 adds, "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."

Sonnen has reportedly struck a plea deal in his money laundering case -- and is expected to receive two years probation and a $10,000 fine.

Sonnen was expected to face Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128 but that would appear to be on hold right now.

Sonnen's career has taken a turbulent path since his near-victory over UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 117 in August. It was revealed in September that he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone prior to his bout with Silva. He was suspended for one year by the California State Athletic Commission, but following an appeal, Sonnen's suspension was reduced to six months.