Sonnen Continues Attack on Silva’s Popularity, Ability to Promote a Fight
By: Loretta Hunt Jul 27, 2010
UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen
knows he’ll have to push his verbal warfare strategy to the limit
to rattle champion Anderson
Sonnen continued that onslaught during a media conference call on
Tuesday touting the UFC 117 championship bout, which takes place on
Aug. 7 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
During the call, the 35-year-old Silva, speaking through translator
and manager Ed Soares, often gave short “yes” and “no” answers to
his questions, which prompted the U.S. Olympic wrestling team
alternate to attack his promoting skills.
“I’m a partner with the UFC. Anderson’s an employee,” said Sonnen.
“There’s a big difference. That’s the reason all the questions keep
coming to me, ‘cause I give a coherent and clear answer that
somebody wants to hear and he sits on a speakerphone in a car
somewhere and says ‘yes’ and ‘no’… If two guys are going to fight,
let’s give people a reason to watch them.”
When asked if he had any frustrations in seemingly promoting the
bout on his own, the 33-year-old Sonnen exploded.
“Of course I’m promoting this fight myself and that’s the way it
should be,” said Sonnen. “Nobody wants to hear from Anderson
anyway. I’m shocked with all these people who come on here and ask
him questions. Who cares what Anderson has to say?”
Sonnen, who rattled off wins over Dan Miller,
Okami, and Nate
Marquardt en route to the title shot, also accused Silva and
his camp of picking “easy fights” in his past bouts.
“…They pick their fights and they take easy fights, fighting Math
teachers from Ohio or one-legged guys from Canada,” said Sonnen.
“There’s going to be a tremendous difference when he gets in with
an All-American from Portland, Oregon,” said Sonnen.
Sonnen also stated that Silva, who’s defended his title eight times
since winning it in 2006, has no fans and that only one company
chooses to sponsor him because of his lack of selling power in the
“I don’t like him,” said Sonnen, adding that he’s found no fault in
Silva’s in-cage tactics. “I don’t offer an apology and I don’t need
to give and explanation. We can’t all get along. Him and I aren’t
going to be friends…I’m going to take his belt on August 7th, and
(UFC President) Dana (White) is going to fire him on August
Silva’s response to Sonnen’s words was as uncomplicated as his
“I actually think it’s funny,” said Silva.
When reporters pushed the Brazilian for clarification and further
comment, Silva’s manager Soares questioned why the media was trying
to make his client engage with Sonnen’s comments.
“This is just a conference call. Anderson finds it to be funny,”
said Soares, “and they’ll take care of what they have to August 7
inside the Octagon. And then we’ll see who’s laughing.”
“I want to go in there and do my job. Everyone has there own way of
promoting a fight,” added Silva. “This is his way that Chael is
choosing to promote the fight and that’s his choice. On August 7, I
have a job to do… not mess around and talk a bunch of crap about
When describing Silva as a fighter and opponent, Sonnen had a
straightforward answer, though.
“He’s a scary fighter. There’s just not a lot of fighters you can
say that about that are just flat-out scary,” said Sonnen. “He’s
very mean. He’s vicious. He’s sharp, in that he’s so skinny and
long (that) his elbows, knees and fists are sharp.”
Sonnen predicted it wouldn’t be easy going with Silva on fight
“He’s going to hurt me really bad on August 7,” said Sonnen. “I’m
confident that I can deal with the pain, walk through it, go to the
hospital that night and leave with the championship belt
In other notes:
• When asked if he’d gotten bored in the UFC
middleweight division, Silva answered, “No. I like my weight
division and I’m prepared to stay in my weight division. I want to
retire in (that division.)”
Silva also shrugged off a suggested catch-weight bout with
170-pound champ Georges St.
Pierre and light heavyweight candidates like Lyoto
Machida, inviting challengers to cut down to face him at 185
• Sonnen voiced a lack of enthusiasm in meeting Vitor Belfort
next, if he gets past Silva. Belfort was to have met Silva at UFC
112, but withdrew from a shoulder injury and underwent surgery.
“I believe Vitor’s in line next. That’s probably not who I’d want
to fight,” said Sonnen. “I’ve got a guy in mind and I’ll challenge
him on the night of the 7th.”
• Silva had few words for UFC President Dana White, who expressed
discontent with the Brazilian’s April victory over Demian Maia at
UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi. “He can say what he wants to say,” said
• Sonnen dispelled talk that the fighter also took issue with
Silva’s manager, Soares.
“I have never said anything bad about Ed,” said Sonnen. “I’m really
close to considering Ed a friend.”
• Silva denied having any difficulty with wrestlers, including with
Sonnen’s former teammate and two-time Olympian Dan Henderson.
Henderson grounded Silva for the first round of their UFC 82 bout
in March 2008, before the Brazilian floored Henderson and choked
him into submission in the second.
“No, as far as wrestling goes, I didn’t have a problem with
Henderson and he’s one of the best wrestlers around,” said
• Sonnen did express some downside to his verbal campaign against
Silva, agreeing that it took time and energy from his training:
“Everything’s a negative thing. Everything’s a hurdle that you have
to get through, but that’s the way it should be. If you’re going to
headline an event, there should be pressure and added distractions
and things to do."