Well, we can cross Chael Sonnen’s name off the list of potential challengers to face Anderson Silva at UFC 112. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has informed Kevin Iole that Sonnen will not be offered the Silva fight.
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.
No reason was given, but I presume the fact that Sonnen won’t be medically cleared to fight until a few weeks before UFC 112 is the biggest factor.
Interestingly enough, Dana White told Fanhouse Silva would still defend his middleweight title at UFC 112, but who would he face if Sonnen is off the table? Iole suggested the winner of the Wand-Bisping fight at UFC 110 could get the nod, but they would have to come out of the fight injury-free. Plus, Wanderlei is planning on training with Anderson and the Black House team while in Australia, so if he won, who knows if they’d be willing to do it. From the way Wand is talking, they wouldn’t.
“From now on I don’t want to fight this man,” Wanderlei said. “Maybe as soon as possible I’m going train with him in L.A. because he has a good thing there.”
“He offered to give me a few classes and I think it would be good for me, for him, and I’m going to train with him there,” Wanderlei commented.
One minute they’re ready to go to war and the next they’re buddies again working together. Talk about bad timing.
Iole also threw Alan Belcher, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Yushin Okami out there as other potential challengers, but they wouldn’t be any more intriguing than his last two title defenses against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites. If he has to defend his title, I say Demain Maia before those three (scratch that, forgot Maia has a split eyelid that has him medically suspended until August unscratch that), but at this point a light heavyweight bout seems to make the most sense, though there really aren’t any compelling opponents available there either outside of Randy Couture.
As for Belfort, he already underwent shoulder surgery and won’t even return to training for another four months.
“I’ve already had the surgery on my left shoulder,” Belfort said. “Actually Lorenzo (Fertitta) was aware that I was feeling really bad pain in my shoulder for a long time. I’ve already had three injections since I was scheduled to fight Fedor, but lately the pain got really unbearable and my doctor decided to take an (MRI) and it showed chronic injury that was getting worse. My doctor, Michel Simoni, said that if I did not stop and do the surgery immediately, I was running serious risk of my shoulder going out of place. Also I was already losing the power of my left arm. How could I fight (without) my strongest hand?”
“I’m feeling good, and according to the doctor, in four months I can start returning to training little by little. Now I have a long journey of work with physical therapy every day. I think before the end of the year, I’ll be back in the Octagon. No matter if it’s fighting for the belt or not, I’ll be back 100 percent.”
Major bummer and I don’t just mean for Belfort’s injury.
Image via Sherdog