Three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen has no love lost for his oldest rival, Wanderlei Silva, a face of the Japan-based PRIDE Fighting Championships.
This guy drives me crazy. This guy has driven me crazy for years. I used to watch this guy fight in something called the PRIDE Fighting Championships. This was as fake as Wanderlei Silva's eyebrows. ... If you really want to know the truth, Garrett, I don't think Wanderlei's going to show up on July 5. ... I will walk in that Octagon and I will fight somebody.
The war of words is nothing new between Sonnen and Silva, whose beef began when they got into a brief argument in a van about three years ago.
More recently, Sonnen has been claiming for months that "The Axe Murderer" would not make it to Las Vegas on July 5:
If you wanna dance you gotta pay the band. If you wanna sing you gotta be the man.Cant retire this hack Until he signs the contract. #sign— chael sonnen (@sonnench) February 25, 2014
As it turns out, the charismatic grappler was 100 percent correct, as Silva has been pulled from the fight after missing a meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, per MMA Fighting.
Instead, Sonnen will face another Brazilian adversary in Vitor Belfort, who reportedly has already been licensed by the NSAC—the first time since the commission banned testosterone replacement therapy.
Last month, "The Phenom" indicated he was ready to fight and was hoping to replace Lyoto Machida in a middleweight title bout against Chris Weidman at UFC 175—the position he was in before TRT was banned, per MMA Fighting.
While he will not get his wish, the Brazilian bomber will get a chance to compete on the same pay-per-view card.
Earlier this month, Sonnen stated that he had to square off with Belfort before he calls it a career. After Silva's misstep, he will get to do just that.
Did Silva know all along that he wasn't going to fight Sonnen, regardless of the date and venue, or did he simply make an irreversible mistake here?