UFC fighters Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva have engaged in a public war of words that’s played out over the last several months.
The feud began when Sonnen made disparaging comments about Brazil as a nation and Brazilians as a whole during the build-up to his two fights with Anderson Silva.
Silva asked Sonnen to stop making disrespectful comments about Brazil while at an event in Texas in 2010. The footage of the conversation that took place in a van ride can be seen here.
Sonnen regularly calls out the former Pride champion as an analyst on UFC Tonight.
Wanderlei released a video in August where he accepted Sonnen’s challenge to a fight. He referred to Sonnen as a “coward” and a “lower level fighter.” In the video, Silva promises to hurt Sonnen if they do ever step into the cage together.
Over the weekend, the two met face-to-face at the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition and convention in Las Vegas and engaged in a heated exchange that was caught on video (warning: explicit language).
The altercation wasn’t a surprise to anyone, including UFC president Dana White.
“It doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t shock me one bit. They don’t like each other at all. They hate each other. I don’t have to tell you guys,” said White during a press conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Monday.
“Brazilians do not like Chael Sonnen, most Brazilians anyway. Some like him, some don’t. There’s situations in the United States where we had an event and a Brazilian fan started swinging at Chael Sonnen, trying to hit him. Then we did the Fan Expo and a Brazilian tried to swing at him at that,” explained White.
“Wanderlei’s nickname is the Axe Murderer. Okay? And he is a very proud Brazilian. He does not like Chael Sonnen. The thing doesn’t surprise me one bit,” added the UFC president.
The intensive rivalry between Sonnen and Silva would be an interesting dynamic as coaches on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, but White quickly extinguished the possibility.
“People keep asking me if they’re going to be the coaches. I can’t have a Brazilian within ten feet of Chael Sonnen in America. Imagine bringing Chael Sonnen here for six weeks. I don’t think he’d make it,” said White.