After Chael Sonnen Removal, Wanderlei Silva Wants Vitor Belfort Rematch

Former PRIDE champion Wanderlei Silva apparently hasn't given up hopes of fighting at UFC 175 next month, calling for a rematch with Vitor Belfort since he is slated to face the dreaded "to be determined" at the moment. 

In light of Chael Sonnen failing a Nevada State Athletic Commission-administered random drug test for anti-estrogenic drugs, per ESPN, Silva wants back in the mix—even though Belfort was the one who replaced him in the first place. 

While "a source close to the organization" already told MMA Junkie Belfort may remain a part of the July 5 pay-per-view, it's a little early to start betting money on "The Axe Murderer" being his opponent. 

Belfort served as a replacement for Silva after Wanderlei refused a random drug test from the NSAC, and to make matters worse, he also didn't apply for his fighter's license in time. 

Nevertheless, the way Silva sees it, the whole situation was a big misunderstanding—mostly due to a language barrier—so the Brazilian brawler is still ready to go on July 5 if the situation calls for it. 

Now if this bizarre situation isn't unpredictable enough as it is, the kicker is that "The Phenom" is no lock to fight on the UFC's annual Fourth of July weekend card, either. 

Belfort admitted last week that he failed a random drug test for elevated levels of testosterone back on February 7, and his eligibility to compete rests in the hands of the NSAC, who will make a decision at their June 17 hearing. 

Belfort, like Sonnen, was an open user of testosterone replacement therapy, and this was not the first time he failed a drug test for performance-enhancing drugs. 

The Brazilian knockout specialist tested positive for the anabolic steroid 4-hydroxytestosterone after a decision loss to Dan Henderson at PRIDE 32 in October 2006, per MMA Weekly

Belfort and Silva fought all the way back in October 1998 at UFC Brazil, where Belfort scored a blistering knockout less than a minute into the light heavyweight contest. 

In the event that Belfort is licensed to fight at UFC 175, who would a suitable opponent be given the current unique set of circumstances?

John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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