Well, it looks like what ‘The American Gangster’ thought would happen all along has come true.
Wanderlei Silva, who was scheduled to settle his long standing beef with Chael Sonnen first at UFC 173 and then at UFC 175, will be unable to fight on the July 5 card from Las Vegas due to missing a meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The finding was first reported by Combate and then confirmed by MMA Fighting.
The rivals were coaches on the recent season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil 3, but Sonnen repeatedly offered the belief that Silva would somehow get out of facing him.
According to MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti, NSAC Executive Direct Robert Bennett said Silva had plenty of time to apply for a license to fight at UFC 175, but didn’t want to:
According to NSAC Exec. Director Robert Bennett, Wanderlei Silva had “ample time” to file for a license to fight in Nevada & chose not to.
— Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) May 28, 2014
Apparently Vitor Belfort and Silva were also requested to submit drug tests in Las Vegas for their original fight date at UFC 173, something which ‘The Phenom’ complied with but Silva did not.
But it doesn’t mean that Sonnen won’t be fighting on the stacked Fourth of July Weekend card.
No. 2-ranked middleweight Belfort, who was forced out of a UFC 173 title fight with Chris Weidman when the NSAC and UFC banned testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT), has stepped in to face Sonnen at light heavyweight.
The winner will reportedly get a middleweight title shot against the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida, which will take place in the main event of the same card.
‘The Phenom’ has been out of action since a UFC Fight Night 32 knockout of Dan Henderson last November.
Belfort was reported to be training with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones this Friday, and now we know why.
He has reportedly passed all required tests. However, after applying for a license last week, Belfort awaits a hearing from the NSAC, which will take place on June 17 according to Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting:
Belfort, btw, applied for a license in Nevada last week. His case will be heard June 17. Much more soon @mmafighting shortly …
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 28, 2014
The stacked UFC 175 pay-per-view (PPV) event takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and features two title bouts in the form of Weidman vs. Machida and Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis.
So why couldn’t ‘The Phenom’ fight Weidman again? Hmm……