The XFC promotion have made an ambition play to put together the fight-that-never-was between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen, but despite ‘The Axe-Murderer’s’ enthusiasm it appears to be a non-starter.

Silva had announced his retirement from the sport recently, but when XFC came calling with the prospect of fighting his rival Sonnen at an event on New Years Eve he quickly changed his mind.

“If (Sonnen) accepts the fight, why not?” Silva stated. “I’d do it. Why not? I’m here. Come get it.”

Of course it’s not quite as easy as that. For one thing there’s the small matter that Silva is currently serving a lifetime ban handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after he refused to take a random drug test earlier in the year which lead to his originally intended bout with Sonnen in the UFC to be cancelled.

With Sonnen also under a lengthy suspension lasting until 2016 for failing drug tests prior to that match-up, all sorts of rules would be broken and legal issues would arise if they were to be put in the cage together.

On top of that, despite “retiring”, Silva still remains under contract with the UFC, so he couldn’t take a fight with another promotion anyway.

When the penny dropped regarding this, Silva angrily lashed out at UFC president Dana White on Twitter.

“Slavery now? So I can’t work, Dana?” an angry, but defiant Silva wrote (Translated from Portugese). “You’re not the boss of me, I can fight wherever I want.”

The final spanner in the works – as if another was needed – is that Sonnen yesterday publically turned down the fight.

“I retired from fighting a few months ago, and I meant it,” Sonnen told Bloody Elbow.

However, Sonnen has kept alive hopes that these two could yet settle their differences in a competitive arena by suggesting that they meet at popular grappling event, ‘Metamoris’.

“I think it could happen,” Sonnen told Bloody Elbow. “I know that the invitation has been extended to him, and I know we’re just waiting to hear back from him. Metamoris was a lot of fun. Everybody watches it and it’s one of those deals that MMA fans, wrestling fans and jiu-jitsu fans all come together for. But, yes, the offer has been put to him and it’s completely up to Wanderlei at this point.”