"The Phenom" is back.
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 coaches Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen won’t fight on July 5. The former PRIDE champion missed a meeting with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and won’t get licensed to fight in Las Vegas, so Vitor Belfort will replace the fellow Brazilian in a light heavyweight bout against Sonnen.
MMAFighting.com confirmed the news with sources close to the situation. Combate first reported the change.
According to the report, Belfort passed all the tests run by NSAC and was licensed to fight Sonnen on July 5.
Belfort (24-10) returns to the Octagon for the first time since pulling out of a title fight with Chris Weidman at UFC 173. Lyoto Machida replaced Belfort, and the fight was moved to July 5 after the champion needed surgery in both knees. He won three straight in 2013.
Sonnen (28-14-1) was originally scheduled to face Silva on May 31 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but the fight was moved to UFC 175 after the Brazilian got injured during a brawl with Sonnen during TUF: Brazil 3. The former UFC middleweight challenger is coming off a first-round loss to Rashad Evans.
UFC 175 takes place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. and is headlined by a pair of title fights. Weidman faces Machida in the main event, while bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey puts her title on the line against Alexis Davis.