Shocking news broke this afternoon when it was found that Wanderlei Silva was surprisingly out of his UFC 175 showdown with Chael Sonnen. The details of Silva’s removal from the fight were cloudy at best, but on this evening’s UFC Tonight, Sonnen clarified that Silva allegedly ran from an NSAC-mandated drug test last Saturday (May 24, 2014):
“Look, Wanderlei has operated his entire career under the shadow and suspicion that he was using performance-enhancing drugs. However, he has never failed a drug test, so we don’t speculate on those types of things. That clean record came to a screeching halt on Saturday night. Not only did he fail his test, he refused to take the test, and as you know, a refusal is equal in the eyes of the commission to a failure.
He ran from the test Kenny, and I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean they came to his gym, and he literally ran. He goes out of sight or they come after him, saying his name. I have not spoke to the Athletic Commission in Nevada, so here I am going to speculate that they will revoke his license, and perhaps his career with the UFC will be done.
Sonnen will now tentatively face Vitor Belfort at UFC 175, and “The American Gangster” detailed how the winner of the light heavyweight will somehow get a shot at the middleweight title:
“Now as for myself, I still will participate on the pay-per-view on July 5, but the stakes are up. I am now fighting in a No. 1 contender’s match; the winner of my bout will take on the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida, and my opponent will be Vitor Belfort.”
It’s a beyond odd situation to be sure, and UFC Tonight co-host Kenny Florian questioned Sonnen about the winner of a light heavyweight bout fighting for the 185-pound strap. “Uncle Chael’s” reply:
“Vitor and I are both middleweights, and that is the contendership that is on the line. Vitor’s the No. 1 contender; he’s putting that title on the line. Consider it a catchweight that it will be taking place at 205 pounds.”
Sonnen hasn’t fought at middleweight since his UFC 148 TKO loss to then-champion Anderson Silva. However, he has teased a return to 185 pounds recently. Does he deserve to fight for the belt if he gets past Belfort in July?