It’s no secret that this weekend's UFC Fight Night 26 from Boston headliner Chael Sonnen has a long-standing beef with former Pride FC champion Wanderlei Silva. The two has traded multiple jabs at each other verbally, mostly stemming from Sonnen’s repeated disrespect of Brazil in Silva’s eyes.
But a fight between the two, though oft-rumored, has not been booked yet. While Sonnen has nothing but the utmost respect for his current opponent (and Silva’s good friend) Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, quite the opposite is true for “The Axe Murderer.” A bout with such heated emotions could be a big draw, but only time will tell if it ever materializes.
Wand was last seen in an absolute slugfest vs. Brian Stann in Japan last March, earing the knockout with a highlight-reel performance. He met up with MMA Junkie to discuss Sonnen and his plans to dismantle him in the near future:
"This is a joke – he's a clown. He's a second-level fighter. He's not Top 10 – he's not a top fighter. He can't say anything about that because he's not in the position. His results don't give him the right to talk like that. When I fight with him, it's going to be a great fight, it's going to be a good match," Silva said. "But when I fight with him, he's going to know what's going to happen. I'm not going to just fight. I'm going to hurt him."
Silva may have a point here, but it’s also hard to find him in any Top-10 discussions currently. Sonnen’s fight-hyping strategy of nonstop trash talk has appeared to have subsided, and for good reason, as Sonnen last won a fight in January of 2012 against Michael Bisping, and many thought that was debatable. Sonnen needs to prove himself this evening, and that’s not going to happen in Silva’s eyes:
"'Shogun' can beat him anywhere. In the standup or on the ground – he can submit and he can knock out. I don't see any chance for Sonnen in that fight. I don't gamble, but I talked to my wife. I want to put $100,000 on 'Shogun.' 'Shogun' is going to hurt him," he said. "I think it's maybe going to be Sonnen's last fight. He's not going to fight after that fight anymore."
There’s no doubting that Sonnen has his hands full with the former Pride and UFC champ Rua. ‘The American Gangster’ has recently made his foray into television as co-host of “UFC Tonight,” so we’ll see what a loss does to the 36-year-old Oregon native’s fighting career.
On the other hand, you can bet your own $100,000 that a win will have him barking about a title shot sooner than later.