UFC vets Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort will appear today before the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and the UFC streams the hearing via UFC Fight Pass beginning at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT).
The meeting takes place at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas.
The commission has 35 “new business” items to discuss, and Sonnen is last on the list.
The former UFC title challenger was slated to fight Belfort earlier this month at UFC 175, but Sonnen (28-14-1 MMA, 7-6 UFC) failed a pair of pre-fight drug tests. Sonnen’s recent response to a disciplinary complaint filed by the NSAC indicated he didn’t necessarily plan to attend today’s meeting and that he waived his right to a hearing.
However, the NSAC recently told MMAjunkie that Sonnen’s attendance is mandatory.
Sonnen tested positive for anastrozole, clomiphene, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), human growth hormone (HGH) and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) prior to UFC 175. Following the first failure, which was part of a random NSAC test on May 24, he retired from active competition. The second positive test, which resulted from a June 5 test in his native Portland, Ore., prompted the termination of his employment contract with UFC broadcast partner FOX Sports.
Belfort (24-10 MMA, 13-6 UFC), meanwhile, recently admitted he failed a random drug test on Feb. 7 due to a spike in his testosterone levels. The fighter, who previously was given permission to use testosterone-replacement therapy, was ultimately forced out of a planned UFC 173 title fight with middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
Belfort then was tentatively tapped to replace Wandeleri Silva (who skipped out on an NSAC test earlier this year) at UFC 175. Officials were hopeful he’d still be licensed to fight Sonnen, but with Sonnen’s own drug-testing failures, he was ultimately pulled from the July 5 card.
Belfort is now hoping to get licensed for a potential future meeting with Weidman. His license request is the sixth item of business on today’s agenda.
Also at the meeting, the NSAC will address Alexis Vila’s request for a license to fight at WSOF 12 on Aug. 9. The 43-year-old Vila (14-4) is slated to fight Brandon Hempleman (9-2), but fighters who are older than 35 have to be appear before the commission to request a license.
Also, the UFC needs official permission to host its UFC 178 event on Sept. 27 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the WSOF needs permission to host WSOF 12 on Aug. 9 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
A full agenda for today’s meeting can be found on the NSAC’s website.
For more on WSOF 12 and UFC 178, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Chael Sonnen)