Chael Sonnen vs. Anthony Johnson? Fight was 'supposed to happen' at UFC 175

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

According to Sonnen, Vitor Belfort was not the first choice.

When Wanderlei Silva went on the lam (because of this), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) needed a back-up plan for its UFC 175 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place on July 5, 2014, inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Specifically, an opponent for Chael Sonnen.

"The American Gangster" was under the impression that he already had one in the form of Anthony Johnson, since it was almost certain that "Rumble's" next opponent, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, was going to get injured (again) and withdraw from the contest.

From his TUF: "Brazil 3" media scrum (via Fighters Only):

"I've been on hold to fight Anthony Johnson. Right now Little Nog's supposed to fight Anthony Johnson, everybody's waiting for him to call and say he can't do it - which will happen. And then I was supposed to fight Anthony Johnson. So when Dana told me, 'Hey, Wanderlei's out,' I thought he was gonna say, 'We're just going to put you and Anthony together.' And Vitor was a surprise for me, it kinda hit me from left field. I didn't see it coming because he's working on compliance. I think he's going to get through it though."

Interesting.

As of now, Sonnen will fight Belfort at middleweight over Fourth of July Weekend (complete line up here) and will not receive a title shot with a win (but Vitor will). That leaves Johnson on the UFC on FOX 12 card (see it here) and Wanderlei Silva in purgatory.

Just don't tell him that.

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