Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva to coach TUF Brazil
It’s difficult to properly articulate the level of disdain that exists between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva.
The two men obviously don’t like each other very much - that’s hardly new in UFC terms - but this one really doesn’t seem put-on for the cameras or indeed the hype.
Generally speaking Brazilians have had an issue with Sonnen since he started talking serious shit about one of their most famous MMA exports, Anderson Silva. Then the UFC Middleweight champion, Sonnen was the only man to truly beat up Anderson Silva – slapping him senseless for four and a half rounds before a lapse in concentration resulted in him being submitted.
Before the rematch Sonnen began selling the fight by insulting Anderson Silva and his country. Essentially he was trolling Brazil to put bums on seats and sell pay per views… and it worked. While he lost the rematch in far more emphatic fashion, UFC President Dana White quickly realised that Sonnen was a hugely popular figure in the ogranisation and one who isn’t afraid to take tough fights and back it up in the octagon.
He’s also regularly pointed to Wanderlei Silva as a man who maybe doesn’t deserve the recognition he’s gotten given his UFC record of 5-7.
The announcement last night by White on live TV that Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will both coach a new season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter Brazil’ is surprising for more than one reason; Sonnen just coached a successful season in Las Vegas against Jon Jones, and also because evidently everyone in Brazil despises the Oregon born wrestler enough for The UFC to heighten security around Sonnen considerably. He’ll (presumably) coach a bunch of Brazilian fighters and has proven himself superb at teaching and motivating fighters, so the dynamic will be interesting there already.
Sonnen will face off against the man known as ‘The Axe Murderer’ at the end of the series on what will surely be another staggeringly entertaining season. But before then he’s got a former champion of the Light Heavyweight division to deal with – Rashad Evans On November 16th at the epic the 20th anniversary show UFC 167.