Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva official for May 31 in Brazil
It’s a done deal. For real this time.
Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva have been officially booked to headline a UFC card on May 31 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, UFC Brasil exec Grace Tourinho announced Sunday night at the UFC Fight Night press conference in Natal. The news was confirmed to FOX Sports by UFC officials.
As of last week before UFC 171, UFC president Dana White said the bout had still not been signed by Silva. White said it wasn’t a money issue and that Silva was by no means ducking Sonnen.
"Not done yet," White said in Dallas. "I gotta get that done."
It’s done now. The two have feuded for years, culminating in a coaching match up against each other on this season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Things got so bad on set, that the two ended up brawling on camera, an incident that White called the worst in Ultimate Fighter history. TUF: Brazil is currently airing on UFC Fight Pass.
Sonnen-Silva was once linked to UFC 173 on May 24 in Las Vegas as the co-main event of a card headlined by Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort. That didn’t come to fruition and now Belfort is out with Machida taking his place. This bout will also mark the first time in years that Sonnen will not get an exemption for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) after it was banned by the Nevada Athletic Commission and subsequently by the Brazilian regulating body.
Sonnen (28-14-1) has lost three of his last four fights, the latest to Rashad Evans in November at UFC 167. The 36-year-old is a two-time No. 1 contender at middleweight and also fought for the belt at light heavyweight. This bout against Silva will be at 185.
Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) has won two of three, including a knockout of Brian Stann in March 2013. The 37-year-old Brazilian has not been in the Octagon since then.