Vitor Belfort vs. Chael Sonnen is confirmed for UFC 175 and will be contested at middleweight according to UFC president Dana White, who spoke with Fighters Only in Berlin, Germany on Friday.
The only obstacle Belfort has before him is obtaining a fight license for the July 5 middleweight tilt in Las Vegas.
On June 17, Belfort is scheduled for a hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). Belfort was previously on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and was randomly tested in Nevada following their ban of it. It’s unknown whether or not he passed that test. “The Phenom” also tested positive for elevated testosterone levels in 2006 in Nevada, so this won’t be the easiest hurdle to clear.
“Vitor is going to have to jump through hoops and do a bunch of things they want him to do, but I’m very confident it’s going to happen,” White said to Fighters Only.
According to Steven Marocco of MMA Junkie, White said in a scrum in Germany that there is no back up plan in the event that Belfort doesn’t receive a license.
As far as what happened with Wanderlei, White told Fighters Only he dodged the NSAC when they went to his gym to test him this past weekend.
“They showed up at Wanderlei’s gym and he ran out the back door and jumped into his car and took off.”
“Then he went all Malaysian Airlines on us and we didn’t hear from him again. And if you don’t show up when they come to do a drug test and do that drug test, then they’re going to revoke your license.”
“Axe Murderer” fans can be assured that Silva has not been released from the promotion. Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting clarified that despite earlier reports stating he was released from the UFC, Silva’s roster spot is safe for now.
Friday afternoon, Wanderlei released a video explaining his side of the story. Silva simply stated that he didn’t understand the forms, which were in English. He said he planned to call his lawyer for assistance and would handle the necessary requirements with the NSAC by time he returned from attending The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale.
Still the UFC will move forward with their newly booked fight with title implications. White again reiterated that Belfort and Sonnen’s bout taking place as part of International Fight Week will have to fought at 185-pounds and not 205-pounds.
Once the NSAC banned TRT, Belfort also withdrew from fighting UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman at UFC 173. White explained what’s on the line for Belfort in the new matchup with Sonnen.
“Obviously it’s a big deal for Vitor. It’s a must win for him,” White added. “And if Chael can pull off a win over Vitor then it will be huge for him too. I’m not saying he’ll get a title shot, but it will be big for him…The fight has been made at middleweight though, so, we’ll see what happens.”