Chael Sonnen not replacing Vitor Belfort at UFC 112

2/12/10 in MMA   |   joshsanchez   |   57 respect

Sonnen said Friday he had a discussion with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and will not be offered the fight. UFC president Dana White said Friday that Silva will remain on the card, but said he still does not have an opponent. There aren’t a lot of viable options, particularly if Silva defends his middleweight title rather than taking a non-title bout as a light heavyweight.

The UFC could choose to wait until after UFC 110 on Feb. 20 in Sydney, Australia (Feb. 21 in Australia) and select the winner of the middleweight fight between Michael Bisping and Wanderlei Silva. That would be a risky strategy, though, given that it would delay naming an opponent for another week and would create an issue if either or both were injured. Other potential middleweight opponents who could be available are Alan Belcher, who defeated Wilson Gouveia at UFC 107; Yoshihiro Akiyama and Yushin Okami. Okami is the last man to have defeated Silva, when he won by disqualification at Rumble on the Rock 8 on Jan. 20, 2006. That would create a storyline, but Okami is coming off a decisive loss to Sonnen.
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