At the UFC Silva vs. Sonnen 2 press conference held in Brazil, the move of his fight with Silva to UFC 148 in Las Vegas didn’t help his case at all, especially with how Sonnen addressed the Brazilian media.
Extra added security measures were in place in Rio de Janeiro for UFC president Dana White and Sonnen to get home safely and when the Brazilian reporters were beginning to get aggressive, White decided it was time for him and Sonnen to high tail it out of Brazil.
“We went down to the press conference and he had a scrum,” White said last week. The reporters were getting really aggressive with him at the scrum. Somebody got him with a shock pen and all kinds of stuff like that. He went out the side door. I went out the front door. Helicopters took us back. We got on a plane and got him out of there. I wanted to make sure we got in and out and got him safe.”
Now, after a week has gone by, White can rest a little easier with Silva vs. Sonnen replanted firmly in Las Vegas. It’s not that White wasn’t prepared to have the fight in Brazil, it’s just the United Nations had an event scheduled during the same week.
White still hopes to one day host a UFC event at the Maracanã Soccer Stadium, but he is likely to have second thoughts bringing Sonnen back down there. At certain times, he was even shocked at what Sonnen had to say while in Rio.
“It’s not fun taking Chael to Brazil,” White said following Thursday’s UFC on Fox 3 pre-fight press conference. “I’m not a big fan of that. I was actually confident, if we did the big stadium, we’ll pull this thing off. We’ll bring Chael down there. I didn’t think Chael was gonna say that type of (expletive) he would say down there. It’s one thing sitting in your living room in America and say (expletive) like that, but let me tell you, that was one of the more surreal press conferences I have ever been in.”
At one point in time, the UFC president would joke around and laugh about Sonnen’s potential problems down in South America. But in light of everything that’s happened, the boss isn’t laughing about it as much anymore.