Former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva and outspoken former UFC multi-class title challenger Chael Sonnen have a well documented beef that spans many a trash talking session. Ever since the infamous scolding Silva gave Sonnen about disrespecting his home country of Brazil inside of a van, there’s been bad blood between the two combatants.
But with Sonnen linked to two of the top fighters in the game in Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, he was never free to book a fight with “The Axe Murderer.” After defeating Silva’s good friend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 26, Sonnen proceeded to call out Silva and officially campaign for the bout.
Appearing on last night’s “Fox Sports Live” on Fox Sports 1, UFC president Dana White expressed his interest in booking the bout for the co-main event of UFC 167 from Las Vegas, which features a pivotal Welterweight title showdown between Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks. The only apparent roadblock to making the fight is ensuring that Silva is healthy:
"If Wanderlei's healthy, I will definitely make it UFC 167's co-main event"—Dana White on Chael Sonnen's plea— UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) August 22, 2013
This is a bout a long time in the making, with a ton of backstory behind it. Sonnen has gone out of his way to bash a ton of Brazilian fighters, and Wanderlei Silva is right near the top of the list right now. Both have a good amount of momentum on their side, as Silva knocked out Brian Stann in his last bout and Sonnen of course submitted the always tough “Shogun.”
On paper, it’s hard not to give the decided edge to Sonnen due to his high level wrestling, which has never been Silva’s strong point. There’s no doubt he has the power to KO most fighters, but he may never get the chance against “The American Gangster.”
Still, the buildup to the fight guarantees to be epic, and while we didn’t see the trash talk that we’re used to seeing from Sonnen prior to UFC Fight Night 26, something tells me that we’ll get more than our fair share if this bout ends up getting scheduled. Who is your early pick to win this grudge match?