Wanderlei Silva’s Actions Disrespected Brazil More Than Chael Sonnen’s Words in TUF Brazil Fight

April 14, 2014
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Chael Sonnen vs Wand Faceoff on TUF 3 SetThe footage of the most anticipated unsanctioned fight of the year between The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 coaches Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen aired on UFC’s Fight Pass on Sunday evening.

Prior to Team Silva’s Richardson Moreira and Team Sonnen’s Job Kleber stepping on the scales to officially weigh in for their heavyweight elimination round match-up, Silva seemed determined to force an altercation with Sonnen.

Silva is a proud man, and a proud Brazilian. In the lead-up to Sonnen’s two fights with former middleweight champion and Brazilian fighting legend Anderson Silva (no relation to Wanderlei), Sonnen made several comments in various interviews portraying Brazil as a less than civilized society. He insulted the culture and some of its most revered fighters, including Wanderlei.

He offended Silva, and Silva confronted Sonnen about what he saw as crossing-the-line type of promotion. To Silva, the comments were personal. During the third episode’s team selections, Silva demanded that Sonnen apologize to all of Brazil for his statements. Sonnen, of course, refused to do so. Silva then gave Sonnen an ultimatum: Sonnen apologize or Silva would quit the show.

Sonnen never apologized, but cooler heads prevailed and Silva returned to the set. Following the team selections, Silva shoved Sonnnen after Sonnen called him “stupid.”

“He broke any unwritten contract that he has with me when he turned a verbal affair into a physical one,” said Sonnen. “Wanderlei Silva will not get within arm’s reach of me again. And if he does, I’ll assume a fight has started.”

“I know I shouldn’t have done that. But I’m a hothead. I can’t suck it up, sorry,” said Silva about shoving Sonnen during team selections.

Sunday’s episode began with the teams and coaching staffs waiting on Silva to arrive to make the fight selection.

“Wanderlei’s side has control, so he will establish who is going to fight who. We’ve got the whole team here, all of his assistants here and we don’t have Wanderlei,” said Coach Sonnen.

Silva eventually showed up after keeping the teams anxiously waiting. “Ultimately he came in. He looked like he had just woken up. When I stood next to him, he smelled like he was drunk. It seems like he had a long night,” said Sonnen.

Silva said the reason he arrived late was that he had a doctor’s appointment and that traffic was bad. Sonnen wasn’t buying it.

“Wanderlei told the hospital lie and switched to there was traffic. So now we’ve got these two stories. And that’s when we realize, okay, you just weren’t here. And when he got in, he smells like alcohol. I can smell that he’s drunk,” alleged Sonnen. “I can tell you that he looked like he just rolled out of bed and he smelled like alcohol. Aside from that, I don’t know where he was.”

“I don’t even drink. I had a doctor’s appointment. He lies and spreads rumors,” said Silva. “People at home may believe these rumors without knowing the true facts.”

The animosity between the two coaches came to a boil during the weigh-ins. Silva was staring at Sonnen with an ominous expression on his face. “Soon,” he said as he pounded his fist into his other hand. “I can’t wait,” responded the American.

“How do you feel when you say things like that to me when I’ve been challenging you for years,” asked Sonnen. Silva then spat in Sonnen’s direction.

Silva approached Sonnen and put his finger in Sonnen’s face telling him how bad he’s going to beat him up when they fight. Sonnen asked if Silva knew the date that they’d get to settle their differences inside the cage. Silva answered, “now,” and got within arm’s reach of Sonnen.

Sonnen shoved Silva, saying, “I can’t let you get close.”

Both coaches put their hands up and Silva threw a right hand. Sonnen quickly ducked under and took the Brazilian to the ground. A melee ensued as the contestants tried to break up the altercation. Escalating the situation, Silva’s assistant coach Andre Dida jumped into the mix punching Sonnen repeatedly. Sonnen emerged from the pile shirtless with a small laceration on his forehead.

(Click here for a clip of the altercation between Silva and Sonnen.)

Dida celebrated the fact that he assaulted Sonnen. “I’m taking this home. This is worth gold,” he said with Sonnen’s jersey in hand. “To punch that guy is priceless.” Silva condoned the behavior by giving Dida a high-five.

“We end up on the ground, and I thought I had his arms. I remember thinking, I think I have his arms, but I couldn’t see. And he keeps hitting me. Somehow he keeps hitting me in the head. Vinny (Magalhaes), one of my coaches, tells me that guy was punching you. And he tells me the guy’s name. It never would have crossed my mind that it was a coach,” said Sonnen.

Dida continued to brag about the fact that he assaulted Sonnen. “His face is all deformed. I landed two good ones,” he said.

“We’re at home and we’ll show him how we do things in Brazil. Here, you either respect me or you lose your teeth,” said Silva, confirming some of Sonnen’s stereotypes about Brazilians. Sonnen’s disrespectful words about Brazil were overshadowed by Silva’s actions.

Silva’s animosity toward Sonnen stems from Sonnen’s comments about Brazil, and Sonnen’s open disrespect for the country. But Silva is the coach representing Brazil, and he’s not doing it very well.

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  • BillJOn

    so whats the fall out? Is the coach suspended? I know Dana like good TV, but show us it’s not scripted and boot the clown who threw the sucker punch.

    • Dellbert

      There is no fallout, its fake. The WWE has arrived in the UFC, Dida pulls his punches worse than the Undertaker. This is ratings folks, that’s all.

      • Hansa

        please don’t bring the fake WWE on this site. Suddenly the WWE-fans will be claiming that The UnderFAKERs streak is more respected than Anderson Silvas unbeaten run and that Brock Lesnar is the greatest HW ever.

  • snapad

    dana doesn’t tolerate this kind of behavior, yet he is using it to promote his show to get more people to buy fightpass. its really sad that it has come to the point where the fans have to pay for TUF.

    • Wolf Ticket

      Well, who would want to see this crap anyway. I would be ashamed just watching it. Has nothing to with sport, let alone martial arts. On the other hand, this is great staff for all the MMA haters who compare it to “human cockfighting”.

  • put me in the sauna coach

    Silva is not coming off looking so good since filming..he shows up late and acts like an angry drunk at a bar. The other coach better be fined or something…taking multiple shots at someone’s head while they’re on top of someone else. This isn’t an L.A. riot. The worst part is the loser coach was bragging out how he’ll “never forget this day.” Neither will anyone else…you proved you’re cowardly thug.

  • Seth

    I’m shocked. I mean…in order for your actions to be called “Disrespectful” people actually has to give a f about you and take you seriously…and they called Wand’s actions disrespectful…man, looks like someone does take that guy seriously…that should be real news. See that headliner – “Wannabe brazilian lightheavyweight is taken seriously outside his circus community!”

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    Dumb writer, Wandy is fighting FOR Brazil, Sonnen’s just a WWE’r

    • fsunoles10

      he confirmed a lot of things that sonnen has been saying, the video speaks for itself bud.

  • Lucas Freire

    Wand is ashaming himself and making every single stupid sentence Sonnen already said about Brazilians the truth.
    I’m embarrassed to see he vomiting non-sense and thinking that he incites fear on any UFC fighter.
    Just shut up and retire.

    • Dellbert

      Chael’s American arrogance comes off just as bad as Wand’s Brazilian thuggery. Chael constantly refers to how he is better than Brazilians because of “accomplishments” completely out of his control, like his nationality.

      • Kris-tyahn

        Dude, you are comparing Wanderlei’s stupidity & his lack of common sense to realize what Sonnen is doing is an ACT, he’s pretending to be the BAD GUY/HEEL!
        While Wanderlei is just looking like an idiot. You know that Sonnen does train with Brazilians, and even has Vinny as a coach & he trains with him for every fight.
        Time for you & Wanderlei to WTFU and smell the common sense that is Sonnen’s act b/c it generates $$$$$$!

        • Theinstruction.com

          Exactly and well said man. Most fans are complete morons I’m sorry fans.

      • taylor2008

        Its NOT “American” arrogance. Its just arrogance period. What people dont realize is that Sonnen tries to sell fights, but nobody should say anything about another country. You dont like another fighter….bash the fighter and not his country.

      • golden

        get over it people. It’s a guy trying to sell a fight. If Chael really hated Brazilians, he wouldn’t be there coaching those guys. People are too sensitive this day and age.

  • abada

    wanderlei is a joke who even cares about watching him fight anymore? what a waste of a season

  • Brent

    There are a lot of “Wanderlei’s” around. I call them meatheads. They would rather settle a disagreement with their fists then try to be civil. There’s not a lot of brain power going on there.

  • Fabricio

    I’m Brazilian and agree with this post. Wanderlei’s attitude is so lame… hope Sonnen kick his ass!

  • Sir Poopsalot

    Dida is a coward and a child. How can you be so proud of sucker-punching someone who is already fighting someone else? Monkey!

    • akljflij

      you nailed it, Dida was the most pathetic person there! Bragging about sucker punching someone. I hope he knows everyone thinks he’s a loser.

    • taylor2008

      Yep! Only a complete coward will sucker punch someone on the ground like that. I think they kicked Dida off the show.

  • BJJ

    I’m also Brazilian and Wand is making a fool out of himself. He’s a legend of the sport – we all agree on that – but his attitude should be no longer tolerated. He can’t even fight that well anymore. Hope Sonnen fight him soon, and win.

    • taylor2008

      I am a huge Silva fan. I like both Sonnen and Silva. I didnt like what Sonnen said about Brazil. Never disrespect any country. We should be all be friends around the world. But like you said-Silva shouldnt be acting that way. If he wants to make his point…do it in the cage. You are right I hope Sonnen wins.

      • Kyle Reusch

        he will win

  • Frota Team

    Deveríam chamar o Wand pra lutar contra o Frotinha. Futuro faixa-preta casca grossa. Ele sim pode por o cara onde merece.

    • sonnen 4 president


  • Kyle Reusch

    Horray!!! Two guys who should retire, fight on a show no one is watching because it is on fight pass, equates to a who cares…

  • JDX

    Sonnen – you’re doing your job too well (manufacturing animosity to create interest in a fight between two uninteresting fighters)….Silva isn’t bright enough to know what his part is-