Following the surprising announcement that Wanderlei Silva had been removed from his upcoming match-up at UFC 175 against Chael Sonnen, it appears that the reasons behind the sudden switch were with his failure to submit an application to fight in Nevada, and also his unwillingness to subject himself to random drug tests.
MMAFighting.com revealed the news on Wednesday evening.
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett, Silva had enough time to apply for licensure in the State of Nevada but opted not to do so and was subsequently removed from the fight card.
Additionally, both competitors were to be subjected to random drug tests ahead of their scheduled encounter in July. Sonnen fulfilled his obligation, but it appears that Silva refused to do the same.
Now with Wand out of the fight, Vitor Belfort, who was initially supposed to face Weidman at UFC 173, is likely to take his place on the card. The NSAC had also mentioned that Belfort had applied for licensure in Nevada last week.
The UFC issued the following statement on Wednesday:
"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. Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort has accepted the fight with Sonnen, subject to Belfort receiving a license to compete from the Nevada Athletic Commission."
UFC 175 takes place July 5, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.