It appears that you can officially cross Chael Sonnen’s name off the list of potential candidates to challenge Anderson Silva for his middleweight crown at UFC 112.
The Team Quest-trained fighter told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports on Friday afternoon that he will not be offered the April 10th bout because they “didn’t think he was healthy/healed.”
Sonnen leapfrogged into the top contender spot after dominating Nate Marquardt this weekend at “UFC 109: Relentless.” Although his lopsided unanimous decision cemented his spot for the next shot at the belt, Sonnen suffered a severe cut on his forehead that currently has him on the IR.
According to Iole, Sonnen isn’t allowed to start sparring until March 9th and the earliest he could be cleared to fight is March 24th, certainly not enough time to properly prep for MMA’s baddest 185-pounder.
In case you missed yesterday’s news, Vitor Belfot confirmed that he was forced to pull out of his highly anticipated scrap against Silva due to an injured shoulder.
Instead of postponing the fight or pushing Silva back to a later card, UFC president Dana White is adamant that “The Spider” will defend his title in the organization’s Abu Dhabi debut.
So the search continues …