UFC Confirms Wanderlei Silva Out, Vitor Belfort In vs. Chael Sonnen at UFC 175… With One Hitch

May 29, 2014
50 Comments

Vitor BelfortA report from Combate.com on Wednesday declared that Wanderlei Silva missed a required licensing hearing in Nevada for his UFC 175 fight with Chael Sonnen. The report continued to state that Vitor Belfort had already agreed to take Silva’s place, and was already cleared by Nevada to fight.

That is mostly true.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that there were indeed issues related to Silva’s licensing that have knocked him out of the highly anticipated fight with Sonnen. Company officials also confirmed that Belfort has agreed to step in for him.

“Due to issues related to Wanderlei Silva’s licensing in the state of Nevada, the UFC was forced to seek a replacement opponent to face Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on Saturday, July 5 in Las Vegas,” according to a statement from the UFC. “Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort has accepted the fight with Sonnen, subject to Belfort receiving a license to compete from the Nevada Athletic Commission.”

Although UFC officials did not clarify Silva’s licensing issues, Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar told MMAWeekly.com that Silva never submitted an application to get licensed in Nevada, while Belfort did.

But that doesn’t mean that everything is smooth sailing into the planned July 5 showdown.

Sonnen and Belfort, both age 37, are required to undergo a comprehensive review, which includes providing urine samples as part of their medical requirements and going before the commission in order to get a license to fight.

Sonnen already did so, and received approval at the commission’s last meeting.

Belfort last week submitted his application and required medicals, and Aguilar said that his test results showed that he was within the proper limits. He will, however, still have to go before the commission on June 17 for a comprehensive review by the commission before he receives an approval or denial.

While Belfort’s urine samples and other medical requirements were approved, the comprehensive review is likely to be more than a formality, if past cases are any indicator.

Belfort has failed a drug test in Nevada in the past, while fighting for Pride FC, and he has the ghost of unreleased drug test results from a surprise drug test administered by the Nevada commission in February lingering over his shoulder. Either or both could become a part of the comprehensive review, and thus, public record, if he is asked about them by commissioners at the June 17 meeting, which is likely to happen.

Fighters that have failed drug tests in the past in Nevada, have generally been questioned about them when they once again meet with the commission for approval for a new license in the state. That does not necessarily mean that they will be denied a license. Fighters such as Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett are two prominent fighters that have had issues with the commission in the past that have gone on to gain clearance to fight in the state again.

So, while Silva is out, Belfort only has one foot in until June 17. But he did at least show up for the dance.

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  • Darin

    Oy. Another fight hyped to infinity and beyond, and now it won’t happen. Kudos to Belfort for always being the guy to step in, but……Belfort and Sonnen? In Vegas? This one is already doomed.

    • Ian Price

      Go uncle Chael!!

  • Christina

    Who in the UFC is dropping the ball on this? The promotion of this fight has been going on for over a year. Similar snags have happened before. Shouldn’t ALL of these details be completed prior to promoting the fight and selling the tickets? Dana should personally make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

    • Rick Ricky

      Yes because grown men(pro fighters) can’t handle that responsibility…

    • Seth

      Yeah, because UFC has nothing else to do besides babysitting THEIR EMPLOYEES. Its part of their job to make sure they have license, medical check etc. Its all on Wandy now. We can’t really say he’s ducking Chael, since he didn’t even apply for license to fight him…idiot

  • Kyle

    It is the fighter’s responsibility to make weight, pass a drug test, be medically qualified, get licensed, etc…UFC will help with those things but if the individual doesn’t even show up or try, that is on them.

  • Christina

    So now it appears Silva avoided a drug test and won’t be licensed. He’s a legend but Dana should cut him loose. Putting up with that hurts the image of the UFC Dana is trying hard to keep. The image is far more important than keeping Silva around.

  • CouchPotato

    They should let both Chael and Vitor use TRT for this fight, would make the fight more interesting and don’t think anyone would care. LOL

  • DamianCross

    Please stop with the ONE FOOT IN THE DOOR and STAY TUNED TO THIS SITE FOR UPDATES ON WHETHER VITOR IS REALLY IN. He’s approved. They aren’t gonna find TRT and roids on a comprehensive review. You gotta end the witch hunt eventually.

  • dave

    Uncle chael takes all comers ! vitor- bigfoot- shogun any brazilian u want- just not anyone u want back

  • jimmy777

    BULL—T!!!!! MOVE THE FIGHT TO A LATER DATE!

  • jimmy777

    BULLCHITT!!!!! MOVE THE FIGHT TO A LATER DATE!

    • Seth

      Won’t help, Wandarlei will just again pull out without even apllying for license. I would say he can only talk the talk, but no one understand his mumblings anyway.

      • Alex’sMom

        This is true.

        Wanderlei has so much to lose by fighting Chael. Pretty much Wanderlei could either (A) get owned by Chael or (B) back out now. The damage to ego from A is greater than B. With B, he knows he will be laughed at. But he knows that with A, he will be really laughed at.

        • Seth

          He’s laughed at already, for his silly, childish and pathetic behaviour during TUF. “Either he will apologize, or Im gonna quit” – how stupid he is? He agreed to do it, said he will do it, he signed the contract for TUF, created a team and did all of those things…and all of the sudden he thinks he can threat UFC – because thats what he did. Chael couldn’t care less about Wandy quitting TUF, but UFC would take a hit from that. He should retire long time ago, now he does same thing that PRIDE wannabes do – his grinding his name to squeeze as many $$$ as he possibly can and he doesn’t give a f— about his legacy or opinion among the fans. To put in a few short and sweet words – he turned into joke, like Cro Cop, Big Nog and others did before him.

  • jimmy777

    Chael was supposed to fight silva, a major grudge match and then go back to 185, this sucks!!

  • jpgagne

    Just lost a ton of respect for Silva. Any explanation anyone, other that he is dead scared of fighting Chael INSIDE a ring?

    • Dragon Kid

      With Silva’s reputation, I doubt he’s scared. Sonnen isn’t that scary, he just talks a lot.

      • Rick Ricky

        He ducked Sonnen!
        Great rep!

        • Dragon Kid

          Typical shallow mma fan.

          • Seth

            Then why Wandarlei A) Didn’t agree to undergo random drug testing? B) Why he didn’t even apply for license in Nevada? He’s just scared. Nothing more.

          • Dragon Kid

            Perhaps u should ask him before making silly assumptions

          • Seth

            Yeah. He probably just forgot to submit for license. Normal thing for a fighter that is set to fight a guy he hates for years and was talking so tough about how badly he’s gonna hurt him and make him pay for what he was talking about brazil.

            It ABSOLUTELY NORMAL for that kind of situation to happen. Why we are bashing him for ducking a fight? He probably has brazilian’s speciality in his pocket – another silly excuse, backed up with a sentence like “I would love to hurt him and I hope to do it in the future”.

            …Seriously?

            It’s not the case when he can throw legit excuse – he ducked random drug testing and he did NOT even apply for fighting license WHEN HE HAS A FIGHT SCHEDULED. Not just A FIGHT – it was THE FIGHT he WANTED and was talking so tough about it and was bragging how he will win. He just showed to be just another silly brazilian who can talk but don’t have balls anymore to back that up. Chael at least has a courage to talk all the stuff he talks and then get into cage – win or lose, he at least is man enough to go there and try to back his talk up. While Wandarlei is just Wandarlei – ex-fighter-now-bi-a-tch, who can’t even be understood without subtitles. Way to go, Wandy.

          • Dragon Kid

            Wanderlei was a five year champion in a major promotion. What was Sonnen again? Oh that’s right he failed each time he got a title shot, typical Fail Sonnen. Sonnen’s rep is just talking whereas Silva knocked ppl out for years.

          • Seth

            Then why he didn’t even apply for a license and agreed for drug test, since he is so “great” and would beat Sonnen easily. Why won’t he beat a guy he HATES and was talking about knocking him out for months? Wandarlei did NOTHING to make this fight happen. Talk all you want, facts are clear – Wandarlei ducked drug tests and he didn’t even want to get a license for this fight. Chael at least shows up for his fights, not like this mumbling chicken from Brazil.

          • Dragon Kid

            chael fails drug tests unlike silva who’s never failed one.

          • Seth

            So what? He at least didn’t run away from them. Because that’s the point – Chael failed? Ok. But he at least took it. And California’s commission allowed him to do TRT for that fight, in case you didn’t follow his case.

            Wandarlei on the other hand heard that they will do random drug tests…and he ran away asap.

          • Dragon Kid

            Sonnen fears Silva and u know it.

          • Seth

            …Eemmm…But it was SILVA who ran away from the fight, not Chael.

            Go home, man – but before that, try to take your head out of Wandarlei’s ass.

          • Dragon Kid

            Sonnen can only talk trash behind his back but not to his face.

          • Seth

            …he was talking TO HIS FACE during TUF. How’s that behind his back? You are just too big of a Wandarlei’s fan (Like Anderson Silva, looks like he has one. Thank you Chael P. Sonnen.) and you don’t understand it, so let me make it clear:

            Chael was calling Wandarlei out for YEARS.

            Wandarlei turned down at least 2 offers to fight Chael (two that UFC actually said Wandarlei turned down)

            Chael signed a contract to fight Wandarlei after TUF 3.
            He applied for fighting license and agreed for random drug testing, in order to make this fight happen.

            Wandarlei DID NOT apply for license and he also DID NOT agree for random drug testing.

            Chael said that Wandarlei WILL not fight him and will back down from a fight.

            Wandarlei was talking how badly he will hurt Chael and how he will make him pay.

            Now Wandarlei pulled out from a fight because HE didn’t apply for license. Becase HE didn’t agree for random drug testing.

            So again, why Chael is so bad since he wanted to fight, while Wandarlei DID nothing to make this fight happen?

          • Dragon Kid

            ANOTHER FAIL FOR CHAEL. After all the trash talk, Sonnen made himself look like a hypocrite.

          • Seth

            And you came here just to post that? I feel kind of special now, you know?

            I advice you to read entire story, not just headliner. He didn’t use PEDs, neither he ran away from it – like Wandarlei did. What he took was something he HAD to take, to get off TRT Safely and not damage his body even more.

          • Dragon Kid

            He still failed to tell the commission. Sonnen is the excellence of excuses.

          • Seth

            Yeah, because Wandarlei isn’t. You are such an ignorant and hypocrite – defending Wandarlei for breaking rules, but bashing Chael because he tries to atapd to new rules. NSAC gave them NO TIME AT ALL with their decision to ban TRT. So now Vitor, Chael and others had to undergo a procedure to get off it in a as healthy way as possible. You are bashing Chael because he tries to not hurt his body even more. Brilliant, my friend. You are just brilliant.

          • Dragon Kid

            You’re calling me a hypocrite cos Silva had other obligations to tend to and whilst he’s never failed a drug test, Sonnen has failed two. You’re the hypocrite defending a guy who almost won a world title by trying to cheat only to get busted afterwards. And now he’s coming up with all sorts of excuses about his latest bust and saying he’ll appeal the suspension only to bail and retire. Two fail. After all the trash talk he made against Silva, it came to bite him in the ass. He’s better off retired since he only talks the talk but can’t win and won’t ever win a major championship.

          • Alex’sMom

            Umm..then why did Wanderlei run away from the drug test?

            Wait…you are gonna say “you should ask him before jumping to any conclusion.”

            Umm…yeah…maybe a group of Portland gangsters blackmailed Wanderlei…or….the Brazilian government secretly bribed Wanderlei not to fight…or…God appeared in Wanderlei’s dream and told him to run away from a drug test and not give an explanation to the public for a week.

            Or….just maybe….just maybe…Wanderlei had something to hide or wanted to back out of the fight. In the first case, it would mean that he was juicing. In the second case, it would mean that he is a coward.

            Or….maybe not…

            In any case…Cigano must be a little kid or an uneducated adult.

          • Dragon Kid

            Typical shallow mma fan who only just wants to hear what he wants to hear. Go watch pro wrestling kiddo.

          • Alex’sMom

            oh yeah!!! Let’s ask Wanderlei!!! Because we all know that Wanderlei wouldn’t lie to the public right?

            “I didn’t do it” <—that is probably what he is going to say.

            Yeah….screw judges, jury, prosecutors, cops!!! Everytime someone is arrested, let's just ask him or her about the situation. Right….

          • Alex’sMom

            Typical Brazilian MMA fighter nuthugger.

        • Alex’sMom

          Chances are: (a) he ducked Chael or (b) he was juicing.

          Why else would anyone run away from a drug test????

          He hasn’t yet given an explanation right?

          LET ME GUESS!!!
          HE IS GOING TO SAY THIS!

          “I DIDN’T RUN AWAY BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID OF CHAEL. I DIDN’T RUN AWAY BECAUSE I WAS JUICING. I WOULD NEVER DO THAT! I “WALKED” AWAY BECAUSE MY DOCTOR PRESCRIBED ME SOMETHING THE OTHER DAY FOR MY BACK WHICH MIGHT TRIGGER TESTING POSITIVE. YES! SO MANY CHEMICALS GO IN DRUGS THESE DAYS THAT YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL TURN UP. THAT IS WHY I WALKED AWAY! I WANT TO GO TALK TO A DOCTOR, GET THE DRUG OUT OF MY SYSTEM, AND THEN RE-TEST! AND THEN I AM GOING TO KILL CHAEL SONNEN.”

  • Mihael Hajdin

    Well Chael called it, wandy is to scared to fight and pussed put, another brazilian fighter with a big mouth, not a shocker..

  • james j

    I think we all knew Wandy was not going to show up

  • james j

    Give them both TRT and let them swing for the fences. Should have never done roids…

  • always right

    Perhaps luke rockhold should step in for chael

  • Foreskin

    Instead of TRT give them PCP!

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    If Vitor tests positive than they should cut him. Wandy I hate to say it ……. needs to come up with a mindnumbing explanation about aliens taking him away or they should cut him too. No TRT means just that, and they should make a statement

  • Collideoverme

    Sad, I used to be a huge Wanderlei fan. He even lives in Vegas now so I wonder what his excuse is? His gym is right there…damn. Vitor, I cannot stand. I hope uncle Chael wipes the floor with his ass.

    • Manuel Lopez

      I hate Belfort too. Something scumbaggish about him.

  • LMFAOAW

    HE GOT SCARED WHEN SONNEN TOOK HIM DOWN AND NOW WANDY PULLED A NICK DIAZ! HAHAHAHA CHICKIN SH][T!!