It’s a question that gets raised every time Sonnen talks about the UFC middleweight champion, who he has quite the distaste for and never backs away from taking a jab or two at in any interview.
But deep down what is it about Anderson Silva that Chael Sonnen dislikes so much?
Well, to hear Sonnen tell it, you can boil down to one simple thing… jealousy.
“A lot of my frustration isn’t so much with Anderson. I mean, I don’t like him, that’s true, but I also by no means detest him. By no means do I hate him. If I found out Anderson wasn’t doing well, then I’d be there to help him. If I found out he was down on his luck, I’d send him a check. I want him to have a good life,” Sonnen told MMAWeekly Radio.
“But as far as a competitive nature and a fight goes, it aggravates me to see where he’s at. You can call it jealousy if you want, but it aggravates me.”
Sonnen has made no secret that he wants to be the UFC middleweight champion, and he’ll try to earn another shot at Silva this weekend as he faces Michael Bisping in the co-main event for UFC on Fox 2 in Chicago.
What Sonnen really dislikes about Silva, however, isn’t so much about his fight skills or his ability in the cage. It comes down to the way he’s treated as a king, when Sonnen sees Silva as more of a court jester.
“I think he got there phonily, I think he got there on false pretenses, and I’m not going to sit back idly while it happens. My frustration isn’t just with Anderson. Anderson’s out there doing his thing, he’s having fun, good for him, but a lot of my frustration comes with the fellow fighters. It comes from when fellow fighters are in the back asking Anderson for an autograph,” Sonnen revealed.
“Why would you want an autograph of a guy in your weight class and especially the champion? You should want to spit on his shoes and punch him in his face. That’s the business we’re in. We’re in a competitive fight business and I watch these pretend tough guys behind the scenes cower to these other people.”
The frustration that Sonnen feels started when he was a boxing fan as a kid. Growing up in Oregon, Sonnen heard tales about a vicious boxer coming up that was the best anyone had ever seen. He was a knockout artist who violently put away opponents with an unrelenting and unforgiving style.
The only problem Sonnen had with this mythical figure is that like many fairy tales, it just wasn’t true.
“I had to grow up on this with Mike Tyson. I grew up and I’m a little kid and I’ve got to hear for 10 years of my life that Mike Tyson’s the baddest dude in the world. I’m only 11 years old and I’m smart enough to know that’s not true. At 11 years old I look at it and go Mike Tyson is the best fighter in the world? As an amateur fighter he never made an Olympic team. As an amateur he never represented us in a World Championship, so he’s not even the best fighter in America, let alone the best in the world,” said Sonnen.
“There’s a guy two states over named Evander Holyfield who could beat him right now, but Mike won’t fight him. So Mike walks through, I mean he gets endorsements, his bank account grows, and this fake image it gets so big you almost can’t stop it. But we’re going wait a minute, you’re not a world champion Mike. You’re not even America’s champion. Evander is. But if you duck and dodge and have a promoter that keeps you away from these guys, it’s possible to do.”
Sonnen believes that Silva is skating by the same way that Tyson did once upon a time. It’s the same reason the former WEC fighter unloads on competitors like Wanderlei Silva and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, because for so many years they were revered as the best in the world when he doesn’t believe they ever were.
“So that’s where my frustration comes. I come in and I go ‘I’m not going to perpetrate this talk about Wanderlei Silva’, and I’m not kicking Wanderlei when he’s down, I don’t kick a man when he’s down, but when Wanderlei was allegedly on top is where my beef with him began. Same thing goes with Cro Cop. I don’t want to pick on Cro Cop now cause he’s down and out, but at one time these guys were viewed not only as top fighters, but as legitimate fighters,” Sonnen stated.
“They came over from the fake and phony matches in Japan and the world acted like these were scary guys. These guys can’t fight. Why because you tattoo the back of your skull and you roll your wrists around while staring at an opponent? Big deal, come do that in my neighborhood. When I’m done with you, you’ll be missing your shoes, your coat, and your wallet.”
Sonnen hopes to get the chance to expose Silva as the fraud he believes him to be if they fight again later this year. He’s not being secretive about anything anymore.
Sonnen wants what Silva has and he’ll take it by any means necessary.
“I don’t like Anderson. I want everything Anderson’s got. I’m going to bring him down and I’m going to bring him down any means possible.”