UFC releases official statement on Wanderlei Silva's 'issues,' Vitor Belfort vs Chael Sonnen decision

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Once the decision is read it is final ... we think.

Wanderlei Silva "can't believe it," Chael Sonnen "predicted it" and Vitor Belfort is "covered by the blood of Jesus."

Just another day for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

In case you haven't heard, Silva was scratched from UFC 175, which takes place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 5, 2014, earlier this evening because he is without a Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC)-issued license to compete in "Sin City" on Fourth of July weekend.

And, in the process, his long-awaited grudge match against his mortal enemy -- and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" coaching counterpart -- is likely lost forever.

Enter "The Phenom," who will put his No. 1 Middleweight contender status on the line against the self-proclaimed "American Gangster" in a 205-pound showdown.

Sonnen suggested Silva was dodging mandatory drug tests during an appearance on "UFC Tonight," which just might signal an end to his UFC career. There is nothing to corroborate that sentiment at this time, with UFC issuing a rather ho-hum statement once all the dust settled.

Its official comments:

"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."

It's important to note that Belfort must still be issued a similar license to fight in Nevada, which he applied for last week. In recent comments to ESPN.com, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta is confident that Belfort will get the green light from NSAC once its June 17, 2014, meeting concludes.

His prediction:

"From our understanding, he's said he's off the therapy 100 percent. I know he's voluntarily done testing every week and every test has come back normal.... He is going through the process of submitting an application to Nevada and, based on the criteria we've seen for other fighters [who were on TRT], he's no different. He should be eligible to be licensed in my opinion."

Time will tell, but in the meantime, UFC 175's fight card (see it here) is (still) subject to change.

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