No, Sonnen has not been tapped to replace Rashad Evans at next week’s UFC 170 in Las Vegas, Evans’ fight with Daniel Cormier was scrapped on Wednesday. Try as he might, Sonnen couldn’t convince UFC president Dana White to make that move.
Instead, the Sonnen vs. Silva fight has been moved from its original co-main event slot at UFC 173 to a headlining position on a UFC Fight Night card on May 31 somewhere in Brazil.
A venue and city have yet to be announced, but the date is set.
The two The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 coaches will meet in a light heavyweight bout, as long as they can refrain from any further altercations before May 31.
Sonnen and Silva have had a longstanding rivalry that spilled over into a physical altercation during the filming of TUF Brazil 3, which is just about to finish shooting.
“Wanderlei and Chael fought. Just today. They literally fought,” White said during a media luncheon with MMAWeekly.com a couple weeks ago.
He didn’t provide much detail, but said there was a physical confrontation between the two and that at least one other person from Silva’s team was involved.
“While they were fighting, one of Wanderlei’s guys sucker punched Chael,” White continued. “It went on for awhile.”
He later said that there was punishment doled out for the incident, but that we’d have to wait for the show to air on UFC Fight Pass to find out what the punishment was, since it was integrated into the reality show.
UFC 173 features middleweight champion Chris Weidman putting his belt on the line against Vitor Belfort in the night’s main event on May 24 in Las Vegas.