Chael Sonnen repeatedly, and some would say bizarrely, claimed that Wanderlei Silva would find a way to worm out of their long-awaited fight. It turns out that the American Gangster knew his opponent better than the fans did.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission [NSAC] has denied a license to Wanderlei Silva to fight Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 5. The Axe Murderer neither applied for a license to fight nor took a required drug test. “He ran from the test and I don’t mean that figuratively–they came to his gym and he literally ran, goes out of sight, and they go after him saying his name,” Sonnen, calling his adversary “Wander-bum,” claimed on UFC Live last night. “I have not spoken to [the Nevada State Athletic Commission], but I am going to speculate that they will revoke his license and perhaps his career with UFC will be done.”
Sonnen now faces a similar but, surely at this point in their respective careers, tougher opponent at UFC 175 in Vitor Belfort. Belfort’s explosive standup resembles an earlier version of the Axe Murderer. Like Sonnen, Belfort fought using testosterone-replacement therapy [TRT] prior to the NSAC banning the controversial TRT exemption earlier this year and has failed a postfight drug test. Because of Belfort’s past history with performance-enhancing drugs, NSAC approval for him may not be automatic, so Sonnen may again need to look for a new opponent. Despite Belfort’s recent efforts at 185, and Sonnen’s history at middleweight, the fight will take place at light heavyweight.
Sonnen and Silva have been engaged in a war of words for several years that escalated into violence on the UFC’s Brazilian version of The Ultimate Fighter reality show earlier this year. “Contest Announcement,” Sonnen had tweeted in April. “Be the first to name the fake injury Wanderlei uses to weasel out of our fight.” He continued on Twitter later that month, “CAN-derlei asked Dana to postpone our fight until ‘July 32nd.'”
Sonnen, who holds notable wins over Shogun Rua, Michael Bisping, and Yushin Okami, has dropped three of his last four. Belfort won his last three fights, all by stoppages.