Well, it’s finally happening. Chael Sonnen is set to face Wanderlei Silva on pay-per-view at Bellator MMA’s debut event in New York.
Bellator MMA is returning to pay-per-view with a blockbuster light heavyweight bout.
Chael Sonnen is set to face Wanderlei Silva in a long-awaited fight in the main event of Bellator 180, the Associated Press reported Monday. The fight was first supposed to happen in the UFC three years ago following Sonnen and Silva coaching The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil opposite each other, which showcased their bitter rivalry. The fight was scrapped after Silva avoided a drug test and Sonnen tested positive for multiple banned substances.
Bellator 180 will mark the organization’s first pay-per-view event since its pay-per-view debut in May 2014, which was headlined by Quinton Jackson vs. Muhammed Lawal, at the tail end of the Bjorn Rebney era. The event will also be Bellator MMA’s debut in New York, with the card taking place at Madison Square Garden.
Sonnen (29-15-1) recently returned from a three-year layoff against Tito Ortiz in the main event of Bellator 170 earlier this year, but dropped a first-round submission. His last win was against Mauricio Rua, also by first-round submission, in August 2013.
Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) hasn’t fought since a 2013 stoppage of Brian Stann. He was supposed to fight Mirko Cro Cop in the Rizin FF grand prix tournament last December but pulled out with an injury. Silva’s suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission ends in May of this year (therefore, he will be eligible to compete come fight night).
Bellator 180 takes place on June 24. No other bouts have been made official for the landmark card.