Chael Sonnen laid it on the line to start “UFC Tonight” Wednesday evening, confirming previous reports that he will not face Wanderlei Silva at UFC 175 in July.
Sonnen, who will meet Vitor Belfort now instead, also confirmed that the contest will take place at light heavyweight, but will be for the No. 1 contender spot in the middleweight division.
Sonnen and Silva were head coaches on the recent season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. However, they had two planned matches cancelled, both of which were expected to take place in May.
“(Silva) has operated his entire career under suspicion that he has been using performance enhancing drugs,” Sonnen said. “Now, we don’t have to speculate. His clean record came to a screeching halt when he not only failed his drug test, he refused to take the test.
“In the eyes of the commission, that is equal to a failure. They came to his gym and he literally ran out a side door. They were yelling his name.”
Sonnen is a two-time middleweight title contender, having lost both fights to Anderson Silva. Belfort, meanwhile, remains the top contender, but he will be putting that on the line to return to the Octagon and face Sonnen.
While not on the same level of the Sonnen-Silva verbal feud, “The American Gangster” has taken several shots at Belfort.
“The stakes are up,” Sonnen said. “The winner of my bout will take on the winner of Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman.”