High drama has enused around the UFC 175 fight card.
For months, Chael Sonnen has prodded and taunted Wanderlei Silva to fight him. It looked as if that fight might just go down on the UFC 175 card, but now it won't be taking place. "The American Gangster" has been removed from the card. It has been cited in Combate that Silva was removed from the card due to a failure to comply with licensing regulations by missing a pre-fight medical examination.
What is even more surreal is the replacement fight that's being booked. On this same card, Chris Weidman is fighting Lyoto Machida in a middleweight title fight. Weidman and Sonnen were destined to fight at some point and many projected it to be on UFC 175. Instead, Vitor Belfort will be facing Chael Sonnen by all appearances.
Sonnen got shellacked in his last fight out against Rashad Evans seven months ago. Since then, Sonnen was a coach for a season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and had considered dropping a class down to middleweight. All indications are that the Belfort vs. Sonnen bout will remain a light heavyweight fight at the moment.
During the taping of TUF: Brazil and on air, Sonnen taunted and prodded that Wanderlei would never actually step into a cage against him. A lot of people wrote that off as Chael being Chael and didn't give it too much thought. Now, what seems to be his typical jaw jacking routine seems to have come true if the reports of Wanderlei skipping pre-fight testing exams are indeed true.
As surreal as this is for Sonnen, it also is for Belfort as well. He took down Dan Henderson, and was positioned to be the next middleweight title challenger. Whispers started to circulate that Belfort had failed a drug test, and anti-TRT regulations were put in place, taking him out of a fight against Weidman at UFC 173. Since, he demanded to replace Machida at UFC 175 and said his last drug test in Nevada wasn't anything worth talking about. Combate reports that he has been cleared to fight in Nevada, and while it's not the title fight he hoped for, Belfort won't have issue getting licensed to face Sonnen.
Combate also cites that given Wanderlei's actions, UFC may consider terminating his contract as well. If that comes to light, we will certainly keep you posted.
The current UFC 175 card, which will take place on July 5 in Las Vegas, looks like this:
Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida; Middleweight Title Fight
Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis; Bantamweight Title Fight
Vitor Belfort vs. Chael Sonnen
Alex Caceres vs. Urijah Faber
Matt Mitrione vs. Stefan Struve
Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos
Ildemar Alcantara vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Guilherme Vasconcelos vs. Luke Zachrich
Chris Camozzi vs. Bruno Santos
Rob Font vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade
Source: Bloody Elbow