With Bellator: NYC just weeks away, one part of the co-main event will be noticeably absent at Thursday’s press conference

Wanderlei Silva announced on Wednesday that he was canceling his appearance in Los Angeles to promote his fight against longtime adversary Chanel Sonnen.

Silva and Sonnen, who both coached alongside one another during The Ultimate Fighter in 2014, have been scheduled to fight several times when both men were still with the UFC.

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Their long awaited grudge match is finally set to take place on June 24, however this time under the Bellator banner.

The former PRIDE champion was also absent for a similar press conference in May, instead opting to satellite broadcast his appearance while training in his native Brazil.

With Bellator officials confirming Silva’s absence for tomorrow’s presser, his opponent spared no words when describing Silva’s last minute cancellation.

“It’s not exactly like Pavarotti blowing off Pagliacci,” Sonnen said. “He wasn’t gonna add anything valuable anyway. I was gonna suggest that he go outside and wash my rental car while I dealt with the media.”

No reason was given regarding Silva’s cancellation, however Bellator is planning on having a conference call with both Sonnen and Silva expected to participate.

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Both men have gone back-and-forth over the years as fights between the two were scheduled and eventually scrapped due to various circumstances.

Silva and Sonnen will finally square off at Bellator’s inaugural event in New York, which will take place at the historic Madison Square Garden on June 24. This will be Silva’s first fight in four years.

The card will also feature the return of Fedor Emelianenko, widely regarded as one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time.

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Matt McNulty is a writer & reporter for LowKick MMA. He has previously worked as a staff writer for BJPenn.com, a crime and MMA reporter for the New York Post, and also as a general assignment reporter for the New York Daily News. McNulty has professionally covered MMA since 2013.