Wanderlei Silva off UFC 175, Chael Sonnen to fight Vitor Belfort

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

He said it all along, but who would have thought it would end up being true. Wanderlei Silva is out of UFC 175 and Chael Sonnen will fight Vitor Belfort instead.

Things just got surreal in here. After months of prodding and taunting by Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva appears to have proven "The American Gangster" right in the end and has been removed from UFC 175. Combate reports that failure to comply with licensing regulations, by way of a missed pre-fight medical exams, were the reason from Silva's removal from the card. It's almost too strange to be believed, but in Silva's place, and on the same card as the middleweight champion Chris Weidman who he was originally scheduled to face, Vitor Belfort has apparently been booked to face Chael Sonnen.

Sonnen will come in to the bout seven months removed from a shellacking at the hands of Rashad Evans. In the interim he's coached a season of TUF Brazil, and had already teased a drop to middleweight. His fight with Belfort will remain a light heavyweight bout, at least according to initial reports. Pre-taping TUF Brazil, and all throughout the shows air time, Sonnen had claimed that Wanderlei would never actually step in the cage with him. What seemed to be nothing more than his typical bluster appears to have been right on the money, if reports of Wanderlei skipping medical exams are true.

For Vitor Belfort, this fight announcement is merely the latest chapter in his increasingly surreal saga. Following his win over Dan Henderson, Belfort was all lined up to be the next middleweight challenger. The sudden imposition of anti-TRT regulations (and whispers about a potentially failed drug test) scuppered his chance to fight Weidman at UFC 173. Since then he's been in the news, demanding to replace Lyoto Machida at UFC 175, and denying that his last Nevada drug test was anything worth mentioning. While he's not getting the title shot he wanted, Combate reports that he has been cleared to fight in Nevada and will have no trouble being licensed against Sonnen.

Included in Combate's report was the news that in light of Wanderlei's actions, the UFC may be considering termination of his contract. Bloody Elbow will be sure to keep you updated with more information as it becomes available.

UFC 175 takes place on July 5th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here's a look at the card:

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

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