Breaking: Wanderlei Silva out of UFC 175, Vitor Belfort steps in to face Chael Sonnen in Las Vegas

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

UFC 175 has a major shakeup, as Vitor Belfort has reportedly agreed to face Chael Sonnen after Wanderlei Silva was forced out of the highly-anticipated grudge match.

UPDATE: Wanderlei Silva responds via Twitter.com RIGHT HERE.

Chael Sonnen tried to warn us that this was coming ... and now it's official.

Wanderlei Silva has been forced out of his much-anticipated grudge match against bitter-rival Chael Sonnen, which was supposed to go down at UFC 175 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 5, 2014, because "The Axe Murderer" reportedly failed to attend his hearing to get licensed to fight in Nevada few weeks ago.

Globo.com was the first to report the bad -- unfortunately predictable -- news.

But, not all is lost for "The American Gangster," as Vitor Belfort has agreed to step in to face him on the Fourth of July weekend pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza. Indeed, It seems "The Phenom" has passed all required tests to ensure that his testosterone levels are to the standards of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).

Or so it seems ... at least for now.

Belfort was knocked out of his UFC middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman, which was supposed to go down this past weekend (May 24, 2014) at UFC 173, thanks to the ban on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Weidman was then booked to face Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC 175 following minor knee surgery.

While the Belfort vs. Sonnen fight is set to take place in the light heavyweight division -- a weight class Belfort has competed in before -- a win over "The American Gangster" will likely secure "The Phenom's" shot at the 185-pound strap.

I guess we know now what this surprise training session with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was all about.

Keep it tuned to MMAmania.com for more on this breaking story.

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