Strap yourselves in, this is a story with a lot of bizarre twists and turns!
Wanderlei Silva is out of his much talked about showdown with fellow TUF Brazil 3 coach Chael Sonnen after he failed to show up for a pre-fight drugs test with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and so was not granted a license to fight in Las Vegas.
“He ran from the test, Kenny, and I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean they came to his gym and he literally ran,” Sonnen claimed on last night’s edition of the UFC Tonight show. “He goes out of a side door, they go after him saying his name.”
It’s now clear if that’s exactly how it went down or if Sonnen’s embelishing the story, but NSAC have confirmed that not only did Silva fail to take the drugs test, but he also didn’t apply for a license to fight in the state.
Sonnen had been predicting for some time now that Silva would find a way to get out of the ill-fated fight which had already suffered a serious of delays and postponements over the course of the last few months.
So, the grudge match between the two TUF coaches who got involved in a brawl during the filming of the show is off the table, much to the disappointment of fans who were eager to see the two settle their differences the old fashion way.
Where does the UFC go from here?
Well, they’ve certainly done their best to make up for it as Vitor Belfort will now be fighting Sonnen after he successfully managed to pass a NSAC drugs test after being forced to come of Testosterone Replacement Therapy and has been granted a license to fight in Nevada.
It’s a bit of a headscratcher though. If Belfort has been cleared to fight then why isn’t he fighting for the middleweight title against Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 175 as was originally planned instead of Lyoto Machida since that’s the fight everyone was clamouring to see?
It gets more confusing though since Sonnen revealed last night that the winner of his fight with Belfort will get an immediate title shot against the winner of Rockhold Vs Machida.
Now that makes sense for Belfort, but how did Sonnen end up back in touch distance of a title shot?
He hasn’t fought at 185lbs for two years since losing out to Anderson Silva (his second unsuccessful attempt to dethrone the champ at the time), he’s lost two of his last three fights at 205lbs since then and is currently unranked in the middleweight division and only No.9 at light-heavyweight.
And how about this – the middleweight title eliminator is actually going to be taking place at light-heavyweight!
All of this makes a mockery of the UFC’s official rankings and damages the credibility of the sport’s leading promotion.
Nevertheless, the biggest black mark here goes to Silva who’d already come out of the TUF show looking like the villain and has now damaged his reputation even further and it’ll be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do with him now.
On the other hand, if you’re able to suspend your disbelief then there’s no denying that UFC 175 still looks like the biggest event of the year with Weidman Vs Machida, Rousey Vs Davis and now Sonnen Vs Belfort on-board.