Chael Sonnen Explains Fight With Wanderlei SilvaBy: Lindsay McCane - April 15, 2014
One of the most anticipated unsanctioned fights of the year aired on Sunday on UFC’s Fight Pass.
The fight was between The Ultimate Fighter Brazil coaches Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen, who, prior to the event, during the weigh-ins, had a verbal and physical altercation.
The tension between the two coaches had been building throughout the whole season, instigated by Sonnen’s constant tweets about Silva, when it finally came to blows.
Silva had been taunting Sonnen, upset over comments that Sonnen had made about Anderson Silva and Brazilians in general, and then proceeded to get in his face. Sonnen shoved Silva and said “I can’t let you get close.” In the next instance, Silva threw the first punch. Sonnen ducked under the punch and then took Silva to the ground as other contestants tried to break them up.
To make matters worse, Silva’s assistant coach Andre Dida took the opportunity to jump into the mix and started throwing punches at Sonnen as well. Dida seemed very proud of the fact that he was able to “deform” Sonnen’s face, and continued to brag about it afterwards. “I’m taking this home. This is worth gold,” he said while holding Sonnen’s jersey. “To punch that guy is priceless. His face is all deformed. I landed two good ones,” he boasted.
Now, several months after the altercation, Dida is trying to justify his actions. “My intention was to separate them, but I saw that Sonnen was trying to punch him, so in my mind I realized I needed to get Sonnen out of there as fast as possible to make him stop punching Wanderlei,” he explained to MMAfighting.com. “I would never let Wanderlei Silva in a bad situation in front of me. I punched Sonnen to make him stop, but he didn’t. (The other coaches) tried to get me out of there, but I came back and punched him again.”
Dida is still allowed to coach in the UFC, but was firmly told that if he ever did anything like that again then he would be banned. “I had to sign a deal agreeing that I would never get involved in something like that in the UFC anymore, or I’ll get banned from the corner,” he explained. “What happened in the show, died in there. If something worse happened to Sonnen, maybe they would make another decision about it.”
Viewers were under the impression that the fight was staged for dramatic purposes. However, Sonnen admitted that the fight was one hundred percent real. “[The fight] was 100 percent real and there was nothing fake about it, Sonnen said. “It was real unfortunate and it never should have happened. It’s not a bravado moment in the least. It was a bad moment. It was a negative thing between he and I. It’s regrettable. It never should have happened. It never should have turned physical. It’s never happened in the past.”
“If you watch The Ultimate Fighter at all over the course of the time it’s been on the air, you see a lot of situations where the coaches don’t care for each other,” Sonnen continued. “They bring coaches in who don’t like each other and you get a little banter back and forth. But on our very first day, he threatened me and physically shoved me twice.”
Do you think the coaches took things too far? Leave your comments below.
Image via Wikimedia Commons