The menacing black cloud of testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) was thought to finally be removed from MMA when Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen received their punishment (or lack thereof) at a Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) hearing last Wednesday (July 23, 2014).
TRT poster boy Belfort was licensed by the commission to fight UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in the main event of December 6’s UFC 181, and the retired (not to mention disgraced) Chael Sonnen was handed down a two-year ban after twice testing positive for a litany of banned performance-enhancing substances in late May.
But there’s still one man who won’t let this whole thing go. Awaiting his own ruling from the NSAC after skipping out on the same May drug test that Sonnen failed, former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva is still eying a fight with both Sonnen and Belfort.
“The Axe Murderer” spoke up to Submission Radio to give his thoughts on the subject, noting that he believes Sonnen will not stay retired:
“I think he retired just for now, I think after finishing his suspension, he’s gonna (come) back. I hope this fight is gonna happen. I think him and [Vitor] Belfort are just the two good fights that have a reason to happen for me. Yeah, this is bad for everyone, bad for him, bad for me, bad for the fans who want so much that fight. But I’m gonna (be) waiting for him.”
Silva and Sonnen were famously set to settle their long-standing beef on the main card of UFC 175 in July, but both ran afoul of the regulating athletic commissions, forcing Belfort to step in as a replacement for Silva before “The American Gangster” was found to be synthetically enhanced.
With both fighters aging and irrelevant, there probably won’t be much demand for the fight between them once Sonnen’s ban is up. The former FOX Sports UFC analyst will move on to face Andre Galvao at August’s Metamoris 4 grappling tournament, and “The Axe Murderer” said that’s a place where he could potentially meet up with his arch nemesis:
“Yeah, why not? I never think about that but I think it’s a good idea. I accept to do that with him.”
Silva does hold a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but with only one submission throughout his extremely lengthy career, he isn’t exactly well known for his mat skills. Sonnen is obviously regarded as one of the finest wrestlers to translate his skills into the cage, but it remains to be seen if those technique will spill over into submission grappling.
Would you tune into Metamoris just to see Silva and Sonnen go head-to-head on the mat?