It’s one of the most famous confrontations in MMA history. Wand calmly threatens Chael Sonnen for suggesting the Nogueira brothers tried to feed a carrot to a bus. It looks at first glance like Chael gets punked, but there is a degree of confusion on Sonnen’s face, and during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, The Gangster from Oregon explained why.
Sonnen said the pair had previously enjoyed a reasonable relationship. They sparred amiably at Ultimate Couture once and Silva offered some striking advice. Chael attended the grand opening of Silva’s gym in Vegas.
“He was just a great guy,” said Sonnen.
Then they spent the day together, and at the end, Silva confronted Sonnen.
“He was doing this whole thing and I was like, ‘Wanderlei, this is really weird,’” said Sonnen, as transcribed byMarc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “Because first of all, you’re telling me off, which is a little bit — that’s rude. Second, we’ve spent the whole day together. We’re in a van, man. Are you trying to start a fight with me in a van’ … And third, you brought the cameraman.”
“It’s like, ‘Hey, well then game on, man.’ I appreciate you looking after me that one day, but if this is the way you want to go, I’m a fighter, too.”
The pair were matched as opposing coaches on TUF Brazil, but irked Sonnen was that Silva wouldn’t be the good guy.
“The script is written,” said Sonnen. “I’m the bad guy. You be the white knight. You come save your country and we’ll go fight this out on pay per view. This is really obvious. But if you bully me while I’m alone, it’s gonna have the reverse effect.”
It had the reverse effect – Sonnen ended up being cheered by the Brazilian crowd, and Wand was booed.
Now the pair are finally scheduled to fight at Bellator 180 on June 24, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, live on PPV. And Silva called into the show.
“I have two balls, he has two balls,” Silva said. “Let’s prove that. … I want to beat you so bad.”
Sonnen didn’t reply, perhaps uncertain if it was really Silva.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Sonnen. “I didn’t know what to say this whole thing.”
That’s a first.