In Silva’s place will step Vitor Belfort, assuming he is licensed by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Belfort is expected to appear in front of the board in June.
“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.”
Sonnen and Silva have been scheduled numerous times to fight, including at two different May cards. However, an altercation that went down while the two were coaches on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 led to a delay in the contest.
Belfort was removed from a scheduled UFC middleweight title fight vs. Chris Weidman when the promotion banned the use of TRT earlier this year. He has claimed in several interviews to have worked his way off the drug and will be able to pass any future drug tests.
Once before in his career, Belfort failed a drug test in Nevada and was suspended.