According to a report from MMA Junkie's Steven Marrocco, the UFC 175 matchup between Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort will take place in the middleweight division, not the light heavyweight division as originally announced.
If you haven't heard, Dana confirmed at UFN 41 scrum that Chael vs Vitor is set for 185, not 205.— Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) May 30, 2014
While this fight between Sonnen and Belfort is still all kinds of strange and unexpected, the fact that it's taking place at middleweight should make clear-thinking fans and critics feel a little bit better about its title implications.
At first, Sonnen said the winner of his UFC 175 showdown against Belfort (which was still expected to be contested at 205 pounds at the time) would receive a shot at the middleweight championship against either current champion Chris Weidman or current challenger Lyoto Machida.
Basically, two fighters, each with his own set of problems when making a claim for the title, were going to fight at light heavyweight for a chance at the middleweight strap.
Yeah, that...that doesn't make sense.
Sonnen on FS1: I'm now fighting in a No. 1 contender's fight against Vitor Belfort— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 29, 2014
Now, according to Marrocco, some logic has been breathed into the situation.
While Vitor still has his steroid-riddled, TRT-drama-infused past and Sonnen still has his questionable record, at least the two are going to fight at 185 for the opportunity. Each man (but particularly Sonnen) would step over some reasonable challengers en route to the title, but it is gratifying to see the No. 1 contender's matchup moved from the light heavyweight division to the middleweight division.
The last hang-up regarding this fight?
Again, Marrocco reported that if Belfort cannot get his license to fight to Sonnen in time for their UFC 175 matchup, the UFC has no backup in place. The bout would fall through, and Sonnen would be left without an opponent and presumably forced off the card altogether.
Still wrangling audio, but another gem I heard: If Vitor doesn't get license for Chael, there's no plan B. Fight scrapped.— Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) May 30, 2014
All this amounts to one series of seriously strange twists and turns for the UFC 175 fight card.
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report as more news emerges regarding the situation.