Chael Sonnen had predicted that his opponent for a highly-anticipated grudge match would pull out before they ever stepped foot in the Octagon together. Wednesday night, Sonnen (28-14-1) was validated when his original opponent, Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC), pulled out of the fight due to injury. This news came just hours after Silva posted a link to UFC.com’s official page for the fight.
Sonnen’s opponent has already been named. Another Brazilian who wants to get his hands on the Oregon native will fight him as Vitor Belfort has been announced as Silva’s replacement at UFC 175.
UFC 175 takes place on July 5th from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Being 37-years-old (past the limit of 35-years-old), Belfort will have to apply for a license for his fight in Nevada. Also, after the landmark decision to ban testosterone-use exemption (TUE) in February means that Belfort will be competing without the use of testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) for the first time in several years.
Another interesting fact from this card is that Belfort was initially placed in the main event of UFC 173 in a title fight against Chris Weidman (11-0). Belfort was then announced as being taken off that card just a day after the decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to ban TUE. Now, Lyoto Machida (21-4) has replaced Belfort in that title fight, now rescheduled for UFC 175.
The co-main event of that card is a women’s bantamweight bout between champion Ronda Rousey (9-0) and Alexis Davis (16-5).