by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
When the UFC 117 pre-fight conference call took place, many criticized UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for not engaging in any kind of back and forth with his opponent, Chael Sonnen, as the Oregon political hopeful jabbed and took verbal shot after verbal shot at the Brazilian.
During Thursday’s pre-fight press conference, Silva opened up a little bit more and gave his insights on what he really thinks about all of Sonnen’s firebreathing leading up to their fight Saturday night.
“I’m used to fighting idiots like him that are talking about me,” Silva said. “It’s a constant battle. I fought idiots all over the world, some have respected me, some haven’t. I can’t tell you how the fight’s going to end Saturday night, we’ll see how he’s acting tomorrow at the weigh-ins and that’s when it’s going to start. We’ll see how it goes.”
To his credit, Sonnen didn’t back down from anything he’s said about Silva or the lead-up to their inevitable confrontation on Saturday night. He even took a parting shot at Silva’s manager Ed Soares who was translating for his fighters at the press conference on Thursday.
A reporter asked Silva how he reacted to all the talk that Sonnen had done leading into this fight, and Soares replied after Silva spoke in Portuguese, “To talk about me is easy, try being me.”
Sonnen jumped on the comment like a pitbull, and aimed his mouth cannon right at Soares for his foul-up.
“I would never apologize for anything, and by the way Soares, that was not a correct interpretation. Anderson did not just say ‘it’s easy to talk about me, try being me,’ he said ‘it’s easy to talk about me, try beating me,” Sonnen stated. “You’re not the only one in the room that speaks Portuguese, even though you act like you are. It’s a step up harder picking up that language than it is understanding pig Latin.”
Soares never said a direct word back to Sonnen the entire press conference, but the Oregonian continued his barrage whenever asked a question by the media. He said there is extra pressure on him for this fight, but that’s exactly what he signed up for.
“If you’re carrying a card and you’re going to fight for the world championship, you should have pressure,” said Sonnen. “I don’t care, I’m like a wounded animal. You back me in a corner I’ll do anything to get out of it. That’s the way it goes, that’s the fight game.”
When the press conference broke, the fighters all squared off and did fight poses for the media in attendance. The time came for Silva and Sonnen to square off, and the champion got nose to nose with the challenger, and no one cracked a smile.
As Sonnen turned to face the media for more pictures, Silva never broke the intense staredown of his opponent, fire burning in his eyes. The intensity in the arena during the weigh-ins on Friday, and the fights on Saturday, will likely be something special when these two finally face off.