Outspoken UFC vet Chael Sonnen hasn’t been on the greatest run as of late. Despite finishing Mauricio “Shogun” Rua with a surprising first round guillotine at UFC Fight Night 26, 2013 was a year that saw “The American Gangster” finished by strikes twice, albeit to two light heavyweight champions in Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
The losses have put Sonnen miles away from title contention, but that doesn’t matter much right now. Sonnen is in Sao Paulo, Brazil, filming the third season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil opposite his hated rival, former longtime Pride champion Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva.
Much has been made about Sonnen and Silva’s rivalry, which started on an awkward bus ride and extended into several other venues, like last year's Mr. Olympia expo, over the past couple of years. Now the two are finally set to settle their differences once the show is finished filming. Before that happens, however, Sonnen and his team have to make it out of Brazil alive. His coaching staff has reportedly been feared for their safety in South America, but the show must go on. Sonnen recently appeared in a UFC Fight Pass video to detail the experience of filming TUF in the country where he’s hated most:
“Uh, I don’t completely know what to make of this so far. I can tell you it’s been an experience. I did season 17, I did it back in Las Vegas, and it’s different. I’ve done a few interviews and everyone keeps asking me, you know, ‘Which is better?’ Well, check in with me. Check in with me in a week or so. They’re similar. The sets are similar. So as far as the training goes, it’s great, it’s gonna be just fine; I think it’s compatible to Vegas. Wanderlei has been an experience, to say the least. I compare him to an onion, you peel him back, there just keeps being layers. It’s tough.”
It was definitely expected to hear Sonnen describe the whole ordeal as “an experience,” because it’s certainly an out-of-the-ordinary one. Silva has a well-documented hate for Sonnen, who could be labeled a bit deranged for going to Brazil to film a season of TUF. But, like him or not, Sonnen is company man through and through, and he’s ready to hype up his upcoming fight against Silva with some of his good old-fashioned trash talk:
“You know the cartoon where the guy gets super angry, and he runs out of ideas and smoke starts coming out of his ears? That’s happened with Wanderlei a couple of times, out of nowhere, where I’m just like, I’m not really sure what set you off there, but I can see him running out of words and the smoke starts coming out of his ears. And I told him, ‘You’re being a little salty to me.’ He reminds of like that feisty grandpa you see at the holidays.”
Ever the humorist, Sonnen will have his hands full when he meets up with the raging “Axe Murderer” somewhere down the road. That is, if he can make it that far. The upcoming season of TUF: Brazil promises to be entertaining if nothing else, and the Sonnen vs. Wand rivalry is one that has to be put to rest.
Are you excited to watch the action unfold? Who is your pick to win their pending grudge match?