According to UFC President Dana White, the Zuffa career of Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva is officially done following his failure to be licensed for his scheduled UFC 175 bout with Chael Sonnen. The news is little surprise and has been somewhat expected since the story first broke. The announcement was made by White at a media scrum ahead of UFC Fight Night 41 and was reported by several media members on Twitter:
Also, Dana confirmed that Wandy is "done" in the UFC. Stories aplenty headed to http://t.co/81ChzC2AYm.— Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) May 30, 2014
For those who missed it, Silva's bout with Sonnen fell through earlier this week. The cause, according to Sonnen (who was reporting the news at the time for Fox Sports 1's UFC Tonight news program) was that Silva, when approached by representatives of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, "literally ran" after being asked to submit to a pre-fight drug test. Additionally, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission officials, Silva never actually applied for a license to fight at UFC 175.
As a result, Silva was pulled from the card and replaced by Vitor Belfort, who will face Sonnen in a middleweight top contendership bout.
Once again, this was relatively expected. The Silva-Sonnen rivalry has been one of the biggest storylines of the last 12 months, and a fight between the two was big enough to warrant an awkward pairing between them on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3. Silva's failure to pursue a license and refusal to submit to a drug test were both irrevocable actions that doomed the fight, and there is no way to interpret his actions other than he was trying to avoid Sonnen.
It's a sad development for Silva. The Axe Murderer is a legendary fighter whose savagery in the Pride FC ring made him one of the scariest personalities in MMA history. His Brett Favre-like decline from being superhero-level tough to whiny and attention-seeking has been on full display over the last two years.
Where he goes from here, and whether or not he will continue his MMA career, is unknown at this time. Stick with Bleacher Report for more details as they become available.
False alarm, everybody! Dana White quickly backtracked regarding the future of the Pride Legend.
Dana White just told me Wanderlei is still a UFC fighter. "I said he was done for (the) July 5th (card) and NSAC would decide his fate."— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 30, 2014
Of course, it goes without saying that White's message was clear at the time. Retroactively saying that he meant to say "Wanderlei Silva is done with the UFC...175 card and will be treated like any other fighter after that" raises an eyebrow.
Regardless, it seems as though his time with the UFC might not be over quite yet.