Silva got in Sonnen’s face, Sonnen took him down, and they ended in a melee on the concrete floor of the gym with one of Silva’s coaches, Andre Dida, sucker punching Sonnen in the back and head.
The fight has come under heavy criticism from fans and fighters alike – including middleweight contender Vitor Belfort – most saying that there is no place for such violence outside of the cage in mixed martial arts; some though saying they believe it was all staged for the cameras.
UFC president Dana White on Wednesday night, however, said that the fight was anything but staged, calling it a “disgusting display,” and indicating that injuries stemming from the fight are what pushed the in-Octagon date for a bout between the coaches from May to July.
“That was far from contrived. That thing was a disgusting display of what shouldn’t happen,” said White. “If I was there, that would never have happened. The fact that there were other people, even people holding cameras in that (expletive) place and let that happen, is beyond belief.
“Wanderlei got hurt in that fight. He got double-legged on the concrete. He hurt his back and he hurt his hand punching Chael in the head. He got injured, so couldn’t fight on time (on May 31) because he got hurt in the fight (while) coaching the show, which is disgusting.”
That led White and the UFC to move the bout to UFC 175 on July 5, although it has yet to be added to the fight card listed on the promotion’s web site. The card currently has three bouts listed, Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida, Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis, and Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos.
Whether that means there is another delay coming or not remains to be seen. There are some people that proposed some sort of sanction against Silva and Sonnen for the altercation, as the situation surely violated the UFC’s code of conduct policies, but White gave no indication that any was forthcoming.
Dida recently admitted that he had to sign an agreement that he would not take part in such a transgression again in order to keep his eligibility as a corner man for other fighters, but thus far, there has been no public revelation of sanctions against Silva or Sonnen.
“I’m done being angry now. I was angry when it happened. It’s just disgusting,” said White when asked about the fight and its aftermath. “What are you gonna do? They’re grown men, getting in each other’s face. I’m more pissed off at the people that were standing around producing, filming.”