In the hectic world of mixed martial arts, things can get circus-like at times, and over the last three days, Wanderlei Silva has been taken to the center ring.
After quarreling with Chael Sonnen on a variety of platforms for the better part of two years, everything appeared to be falling into place for the two rivals to settle their business inside the Octagon at UFC 175 on July 5.
The UFC even tapped "The Axe Murderer" and the former two-divisional title challenger to take opposing coaching roles for the third installment of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil as a method of stoking their long-standing beef to promote attention for their eventual summer showdown.
While there were issues getting the contracts signed that forced the bout to jump cards a few times, all bumps in the road appeared to be traversed as the organization set about doing their promotion for the annual Fourth of July weekend event. That said, the chaos was about to amplify to incredible levels, and the ongoing saga between Silva and Sonnen added its strangest chapter yet.
On Wednesday, Combate (via MMA Junkie) first reported that the former Pride champion was out of his tilt with the "Gangster from West Linn" and would be replaced by Vitor Belfort. Later that night during the broadcast of UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1, Sonnen provided details of the situation that led to Silva being removed from the tilt, saying he "literally ran" when the Nevada State Athletic Commission showed up at his gym in Las Vegas to issue a random drug test.
As news of the shuffle at UFC 175 captivated the MMA universe, the Brazilian muay thai machine took to his Twitter account to voice his shock and disbelief of the situation at hand. On Friday afternoon, Silva issued a video response and offered his explanation to the drug test NSAC attempted to issue and his intentions to reclaim his place in the bout with Sonnen on July 5.
While "The Phenom" is currently holding the spot opposite of Sonnen at UFC 175, the Brazilian knockout artist still needs to receive a license from the commission before his place on the card can be made official. Silva still has yet to apply for his license as well, and from what he laid out in the video, he plans on still trying to make that happen.
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.
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