Wanderlei Silva has failed to attend a pre-fight hearing and is out of his clash with Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 5th, according to reports.
The Brazilian fighter is accused of refusing a drugs test with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), which is grounds for a failure and he won't be given a fighter's license for the Independence Day weekend supercard.
Silva is set to be replaced by Vitor Belfort, who while being the #2 ranked middleweight, will return to the scheduled light heavyweight for the fight but the winner will get Belfort's number one contender spot, according to one source close to the situation.
As for Silva, the news was broken by Brazilian website, Globo Esporte, they revealed that he had refused to attend the NSAC hearing to get licensed, which obviously upset the UFC, they then looked to replace him with Belfort immediately.
There have been threats of tougher sanctions on Silva, with some saying this might be the last straw for the UFC, after a scandalous build up to the fight, and they'll cut him from his contract.
The two were opposite coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 and were filming when a fight between the two broke out in the gym.
That brawl was instigated by Silva, while Sonnen was mostly defensive but it was the ambush and cheap shots from Silva's coach, as well as Silva's baiting of the fight that drew ire from the UFC and the MMA community.
That caused the fight to be delayed through injury, frustrating the UFC even more.
It was supposed to take place at last weekend's UFC 173 event, instead the UFC had to move their #1 Light Heavyweight contender bout between Daniel Cormier and Dan Henderson to 173 instead.
Just over a month ago Sonnen said that he was expecting Silva to back out of the fight somehow and although he predicted an 'injury' it seems as if Silva opted for the more incriminating drug test failure.
Now Sonnen's focus has to be on Vitor Belfort. Belfort was initially supposed to headline UFC 175 and challenge for Chris Weidman's title, but with the ban on TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) he was pulled from the bout in case he failed a test and had to serve a suspension.
Unlike Silva, Belfort was honest about why he might fail and instead of embarrassing the UFC, took the safer approach. He's still due to be cleared for a fighter's license but it's likely that he'll get it.
This is all one big mess for the UFC and unfortunately, drags the name of a legendary fighter in Wanderlei through the mud even more.
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