Wanderlei Silva was pulled from his scheduled UFC 175 grudge match against Chael Sonnen due to a failure to submit an application to fight in the state of Nevada, as well as his refusal to undergo a random drug test, sources told MMAFighting.com.
Silva had "ample time" to submit his application to compete at UFC 175 and elected not to do so, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Robert Bennett.
In addition, according to sources, both Silva and Sonnen were asked to undergo random drug tests while in Nevada last week for UFC 173. Sonnen complied with the request, however when asked to do the same, Silva refused.
NSAC officials declined to comment on matters regarding the random tests.
Belfort's application will undergo a "comprehensive review" at a June 17 meeting of NSAC officials, and while Bennett stated that no decision will be reached until the date of the meeting, he acknowledged that the commission will likely require Belfort to undergo supplementary drug testing before the commission reviews his license.
The polarizing Brazilian middleweight recently withdrew from a championship fight against Chris Weidman less than 24 hours after the NSAC unanimously voted to ban the use of testosterone replacement therapy in Nevada.
UFC officials issued the following statement on Wednesday:
"Due to issues related to Wanderlei Silva's licensing in the state of Nevada, the UFC was forced to seek a replacement opponent to face Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on Saturday, July 5 in Las Vegas. Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort has accepted the fight with Sonnen, subject to Belfort receiving a license to compete from the Nevada Athletic Commission."