One of the best talkers in the sport, Chael Sonnen, had some harsh words to say about his future opponent Wanderlei Silva in an interview with MMAFighting‘s Dave Doyle. Well, in the eyes of Sonnen, “future opponent” should be said with a pinch of salt, stating,
“It’s one of those things where, something stinks here. He’s talking more than ever. He’s saying things like ‘Chael better not get hurt’ and ‘Chael better not fall out.’ I’ve never pulled out, ever. If I’m hurt or I’m sick, I just show up. Never do I complain or I pull out. What that’s telling me, he’s going to claim he’s hurt. He’s just doing all these things to tip his hand here, and something stinks and I don’t know what it is, but something’s going on.”
After his fellow TUF Brazil 3 coach Wanderlei Silva took a long time to sign the contract agreement for the bout with Sonnen, many wondered the motifs behind the lengthy period. After initially scheduled to co-headline the UFC 173 card, the bout was moved to headline a ‘Fight Night’ card in Brazil scheduled for the following weekend, but not without its confusion.
To add wood to the fire, the card is yet to be given an official number unlike its predecessors and successors, and just three other bouts have been announced. I would speculate that all three would take place on the event’s preliminary card, with the three bouts being Paulo Thiago vs. Gasan Umalatov, Kevin Souza vs. Mark Eddiva, and Elias Silverio vs. Ernest Chavez. Should Silva pull out, the UFC wouldn’t be frightened to cancel the card as none of the three other announced bouts are likely to cause much excitement for fans. On top of this, the promotion will be staging an event on the same night in Berlin, Germany, which coincidentally has nine bouts announced already.
While Sonnen is coming off a loss to top ranked light heavyweight Rashad Evans at UFC 167, Silva will come into the fight off a win over Brian Stann in a Fight of the Year candidate in Japan. The fight, should it happen, will mark an almost 15 month absence from the cage for Silva, which could play a factor. The pair will contest in a light heavyweight, five round bout, though Sonnen had discussed a move down to middleweight in the recent past. He has gone 1-2 since moving up to 205lbs.
Here are some particularly interesting quotes from the interview, while the full interview can be read here.
“It seemed like he watched me every day twice a day practice. I’d see him in the hallway and he’d see me covered in five or six pounds of sweat and he’d be walking in with fruit… I thought ‘you don’t look like a guy who’s getting ready to fight,’ not a five round fight, particularly not when you’ve been out of the ring for a year. This just doesn’t make sense.”
“He said, I need eight weeks, that’s all I need to get my body ready, and in eight weeks I’m going to get ready,”
“I don’t like him, but I’m not delusional that he’s not a tough guy. I’m not delusional that for the most part he’s been a man of his word.”
Chael Sonnen is scheduled to fight Wanderlei Silva on May 31 at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil.