Former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen has his hands full with a UFC 167 date against former champion Rashad ‘Suga’ Evans.
However, Sonnen can’t seem to get the prospect of a Wanderlei Silva’s “challenge” off of his back. The two had a highly publicized scuffle at last weekend’s Mr. Olympia Expo that nearly exploded into fisticuffs.
Although Sonnen has offered to fight the former Pride FC champ, it was ultimately turned down by “The Axe Murderer,” who wanted a lucrative cut of the pay-per-view revenue before he signed on the dotted line. Silva’s constant trash talk and challenges without accepting the fight have begun to noticeably wear on Sonnen, who told MMA Fighting:
“He’s a distraction. He’s a distraction, no doubt about it. Absolutely (it pisses me off),” Sonnen said. “Wouldn’t deny it. It’s bizarre. It comes back to, on one hand this is pretty weird, man. On the other hand, well done. Well done. You wanted attention. It worked. You’re staying in the headlines by staying out of the Octagon. It’s very hard to stay in the news when you don’t have a fight, and here he is doing it.”
So “The American Gangster” thinks his Brazilian foe is trying to stay relevant in the news by sustaining an ongoing feud with him, and it appears to be working. Sonnen is baffled how Silva is able to do that without accepting the fight. It was almost thought to be inevitable that the two would lock hors at the Octagon at one point, but now that’s uncertain with Sonnen potentially rising to the top levels of the 205-pound rankings.
Sonnen talks a lot of trash, but he backs it up as well. He can’t say the same for Silva, whose constant blasting is something Sonnen labels as bizarre:
“It’s silly. In this sport, you cannot refuse to fight a guy and then come out and talk about that guy,” Sonnen explained. “It’s like, ‘Listen, Wanderlei. I’ve said a lot of things about a lot of people, but I’ll make that walk every goddamn time.’ I will never pull out of a fight. I will never call in sick, and I will never say no. That gives me the right to say the things that I say. I get it, he needs media. The UFC can’t give it to him because he’s not relevant. That’s not an insult, that’s just the reality. He’s just not relevant. He doesn’t have a fight coming up. But it’s bizarre, and it’s also very transparent.”
Both Anderson Silva and Jon Jones may have finished “Uncle Chael”, but at least he took on the challenge like a true warrior. He also stepped up to the plate to save UFC 151 on short notice. Sonnen is a gamer, but it’s tough to say the same about Silva until he stops running his mouth and steps up to the plate.
Will the two mortal enemies ever meet in the Octagon to settle their score?