On Saturday, June 24, in the main event of the stacked Bellator NYC card, three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen will collide with Pride legend Wanderlei Silva in a fight that should go down as one of the biggest fights Bellator has ever promoted.
Given the unfortunate, PED-related history of both men, of course, one would hope that both will undergo significant testing in the buildup to and fallout of this fight. Yet when asked previously by MMAFighting.com what kind of testing the two stars will undergo, the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) gave a rather vague answer.
“The Commission’s normal practice is to conduct testing on any athlete who has a history of doping violations every time they compete in the State of New York,” NYSAC spokesperson Laz Benitez explained. “The Commission gains authority over the competitors once they are licensed. Once licensed, however, the Commission may — in its discretion — require drug testing prior to the event.”
When asked to elaborate on how Sonnen and Silva would be tested, Benitez said that he had “no further comment.”
Luckily, it has now been confirmed by TheMMAReport.com, who followed up with Benitez, that both Sonnen and Silva will undergo out-of-competition testing prior to this fight. Hopefully, this will ensure a level playing field for the two popular fighters.
Bellator NYC will also feature a heavyweight showdown between MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, and former UFC heavyweight contender Matt Mitrione. Before we’re treated to these Sonnen vs. Silva and Emelianenko vs. Mitrione bouts, we’ll be treated to two Bellator title fights: one between welterweight champ Douglas Lima and challenger Lorenz Larkin, and one between lightweight champ Michael Chandler and challenger Brent Primus.
Who do you think will win this anticipated light heavyweight showdown between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva? Make your pick in the comments section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/12/2017.