UFC’s Chael Sonnen blasted Wanderlei Silva on “UFC Tonight,” calling his confrontation at last weekend’s Mr. Olympia event in Las Vegas “staged” and insulting to the audience.
Sonnen, who often uses professional wrestling-style promos to sell his fights, said Silva was only looking for attention by showing up with a camera. Silva was not interested in a real fight, Sonnen said.
“I’m all for Wanderlei having a little fun, but Wanderlei, three things. First off, if you’re going to do a publicity stunt, do not bring your own camera. It looks staged, which it was. It insults your audience. Assume that they’re going to connect the dots. Show up somewhere where a camera is, and then go into your little routine, ” Sonnen said.
Silva, with a cameraman behind him, stormed through vendor tables to confront Sonnen, who was signing autographs at table. Silva filmed the entire incident and then put it on You Tube, along with an interview where he accused Sonnen of being scared and sounding like a “girl.”
Sonnen said Silva’s act was cowardly because he’s given Silva every chance to fight him in the Octagon.
“Secondly, in this country and in this industry, if you refuse to fight a guy, like you did me, you forfeit your right to then talk about that person in this type of fashion. Accosting somebody in public can be regrettable. Accosting a gangster can be hazardous,” Sonnen said.
The UFC was close to putting the fight on early this year, but Silva demanded pay-per-view points. UFC President Dana White refused and Sonnen took a fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 167 instead.
The two fighters have had years of bad blood between them. Silva has been seeking revenge on Sonnen for the American fighter’s derogatory comments about Brazilians leading up to his first fight with Anderson Silva.
Wanderlei Silva has repeatedly called Sonnen a “girl” and a “butt-face.” Sonnen has compared Silva to “crap” and said Silva doesn’t really want to fight him.
“Third and final thing, Wanderlei, if you would like to come here on this very set and conduct a conventional and traditional-style interview, we here at ‘UFC Tonight’ will pay your way,” Sonnen said.