During last week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3, the coaches came to blows for the first time in the reality series’ nine-year history. After being relentlessly taunted by Wanderlei Silva prior the weigh-ins, Chael Sonnen shoved the Brazilian fighting legend and a melee ensued. While the fighters frantically tried to break up the fight, Silva’s Muay Thai coach Andre Dida sucker punched Sonnen several times.
UFC president Dana White called for a meeting with both coaching staffs to discuss the altercation.
“I’ll start with Dida. I’d like for you to leave the show. You have to leave. You’re going to leave the show,” said White. “What you did yesterday was a disgrace. Sucker punching Chael while he’s down on the ground with Wanderlei, that’s not what this sport is about. And you’re going to have to leave the show. You should probably be arrested to be honest with you. I’d like for you to leave.”
After expelling Dida from the set, White turned his attention to Silva and Sonnen.
“Now you two knuckleheads. I get it. You guys don’t like each other. It’s fun. It’s great. We’ve been flying around the world for years trying to get this sport regulated. Even down in Brazil, where this sport started, people thought this sport was full of thugs and gorillas. And that’s exactly what you acted like yesterday,” said White via video teleconference.
“Listen, if you two want to fight for free, I’d love to not pay ya. That would be (expletive) great! You’re professional athletes who get paid lots of money to compete against one another to find out who is the best. If you would like to fight for free, that would be (expletive) awesome,” continued the UFC president.
“I would assume you wouldn’t want to do that, right? You guys are on a competition mentoring young fighters on what they should do and how they should act. And you two acted like a couple of jackasses yesterday. Congratulations,” White said as he continued to scold the coaches.
“Please do me a favor and show the sport that you are in some respect, show yourselves some respect, and let’s keep this thing cool for the rest of the season please.”
Sonnen and Silva only uttered one word each in response to White’s comments. “Yes,” said Sonnen, while Silva muttered an “okay.”
Following the meeting, Silva called the brawl an isolated incident. But he didn’t seem confident that he’d be able to hold up keeping it cool for the rest of the season.
“If he provokes me again, I’ll probably slap him in the face. I’ll try to avoid it. But he’s a phony jerk. His falsehood is what irritates me,” said Silva.
Silva injured his right hand and his back during the altercation. The back injury forced the fight with Sonnen to be pushed back from its original date. The two were scheduled to meet at UFC 173 on May 24, then at The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 Finale on May 31. They’ll finally get to finish the fight that started on set at UFC 175 on July 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.